Review, Photos, and Audience Letters

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Review from Composers of Sibelius

I hope all are well. I’ve been kept very busy with non-musical duties for some time now, but I am writing this now because I was very impressed, yet again, with a recent performance by the One World Symphony in New York. Hearing Charles Ives’s Central Park in the Dark in the dark was a total experience far in excess of its parts. I was brought to a time when we received our entertainment in a dimly lit cavernous space (whether naturally lit cathedral at night or outright cave doesn’t really matter as I suspect both served as venues for our personally sacred experiences throughout the millennia), and my imagination kicked into overdrive as I sensed myself experiencing a timeless tradition.

Some beautiful singing by several talented vocal artists followed, the songs inspired by our natural satellite, in whose honor we were gathered. Some selections from Peter Grimes, including Four Sea Interludes, concluded the mesmerizing evening. The third interlude, Moonlight, was beyond moving. Its subtle brooding had a transformative power not unlike one’s first glimpse of moonlight on the ocean. Truly profound…!

I can never say enough good things about this orchestra. If you are ever in New York when they are giving a performance I strongly suggest attending. It will be well worth your time.

Preview from WQXR Operavore, Olivia Giovetti:

I’ve discussed the scrappy and sophisticated One World Symphony… it’s inventive programs such as the one scheduled for the Lunar New Year that reassert this company’s allure. Sung Jin Hong presents here works tied to the night and heavens by Britten, Ives, Dvořák, Spohr, Schubert, and Schumann with a dreamy programmatic progression.

Audience Letters

I know you saw Alex last night, but I too wanted to say congratulations. The singers sounded great and your orchestra was totally phenom! I was so impressed. And such a great space. That last piece — Britten’s Sea Interludes — was really incredible.

Looking forward to more great things coming from One World Symphony.

The Britten is growing on us over time. We both loved the “Storm” section of the sea interludes and I have become fond of the dawn and Sunday morning sections. We loved the women’s quartet in the Britten. Will was wild for the soloist in the Aria. We both loved the song cycle. I particularly liked that I could understand all the German words in the Erlkönig (partly because of the version of the translation). Both of us found the Ives a bit challenging. Fortunately, it came first, and we did appreciate the explanation from the conductor — he is always helpful that way! And we do want to be challenged! The orchestra really got a workout in the Sea Interludes, but we thought the execution was really excellent, as it always seems to be. We are really impressed by this daring group.

We really enjoy your programs. They challenge us too. Here’s a donation from us to say thank you.

Your programs are thoughtful and evocative. By depriving our sight in Ives, the experience heightened our aural senses. Having the Peter Grimes scenes and sea interludes bridged without a break gave us a sense that we were on a boat riding the broad and sweeping waves of the ocean. If I have a complaint, the program was short, as I wanted to hear more songs about the moon and selections from Peter Grimes.

AMAZING concert last night. Thank you so much! Sonya Headlam’s singing made me cry it was so divine, and the other singers and players were top notch, too

Moonlight was phenomenal, as I’m still hypnotized by the experience. I wished you gave us encores from Peter Grimes like the “Passacaglia” and “Now is gossip put on trial!”

Forgive the delay in my writing to tell you how much Mr. P and I enjoyed the recent One World Symphony concert. I can sum up our feelings in one simple sentence. It was another marvelous evening of music. I would also add the obvious — you are working with some wonderful artists.

We always eagerly look forward to your continued success.

Another impressive performance and programming. I liked how you didn’t perform Beethoven and Debussy’s Moonlights, but dug deeper into the repertoire. The performance and overall mood and pacing kept me engaged all evening.

I loved the songs about the moon and how you arranged them for orchestra. Mondnacht was sublime. Did you compose the transitional music into the Dvořák too? Your young singers showed poise and maturity as there weren’t any vocal athletics, but full of grace and expressive elegance. They all seemed comfortable and natural, which puts us at ease. What can I say about your orchestra? The Moonlight Interlude was unforgettable. I never heard it with such intensely slow pace that revealed the power and depth of the ocean and Grimes psyche as you’ve explained. The performance was a visceral and therapeutic experience.

Sunday, January 22, 2012
Holy Apostles Church

Monday, January 23, 2012
Holy Apostles Church