Review: Power and Finesse – An Epic Concert with Symphony Tacoma

John Falskow, Ph.D; South Sound Magazine

“An absolute thrill”

Conductor Sarah Ioannides craftily led the orchestra through the rivers journey, and navigated tricky transitions with grace (Smetana’s Moldau).

Inspired by Eastern European dance, (David Ludwig Violin Concerto) this finale included angular rhythms, lively call-and-response between the soloist and orchestra, and some absolutely brilliant use of the percussion section.  This finale was a raucous party and festive conclusion to an incredible piece.  Congratulations to Dr. Ludwig, Ms. Hristova, Maestra Ioannides, and all the Symphony Tacoma musicians for sharing this wonderful concerto performance with our community.

It was an absolute thrill to experience Mahler’s music in performance.  The sheer mass of sound and humongous architecture is consuming and overwhelming.  

Symphony Tacoma musicians stepped up to Mahlers music with precision and confidence.  In movement one, distant offstage trumpet fanfares synchronized wonderfully with the orchestra.  The slow third movement included polished solo performances by Chris Burns (principal bass), John Ruze (principal bassoon), and Paul Evans (principal tuba).  The final movement shifted from loss and longing to triumph and celebration.  Ioannides pacing of phrase and tempo made the symphony come alive.  The audience burst out in a standing ovation as the final chord rang into the theater.  Thank you Symphony Tacoma for a memorable concert and performance.

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