Aaron Keebaugh Boston Classical Review
“(…) From start to finish, Friday’s program proved to be a spectacular and rewarding display of musicianship.(…) And at the helm, Denève deftly handled the concerto’s sudden shifts in mood with deliberation. (…) For an opener, Denève led the strings in Samuel Barber’s famous Adagio for strings.This most beloved of Barber’s works is a shining example of the composer’s romantic lyricism. The performance was gorgeous. Denève wove the strands of Barber’s melody into a silky bed of sound and built the music to a shimmering climax. (…)

Fine playing also characterized the main work of the evening, Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 in C minor. (…) The performance, under Denève’s clear-eyed direction, was astounding. The conductor mined the mystery from the opening Adagio and coaxed bubbly phrases from the ensuing Allegro, the strings and winds answering with precision. (…) The highlight was the finale, where the orchestral and organ lines fused together into blocks of powerful sound, bringing the symphony to a triumphant conclusion.”

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