Review: "Romanticism, grandeur mark symphony concert"

Brett Mitchell was the guest conductor for the San Antonio Symphony classical concert Friday night at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Jeff Nelson)

Brett Mitchell was the guest conductor for the San Antonio Symphony classical concert Friday night at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Jeff Nelson)

The San Antonio Express-News has published a review of Brett Mitchell's debut with the San Antonio Symphony:

Elegant 19th-century European Romanticism was answered by 20th-century American heroics during the San Antonio Symphony’s classical series concert Friday night.

Two talented guest artists, a pianist and a conductor, made sure the program of Franz Liszt and Aaron Copland was both varied and compatible....

[Pianist Scott] Cuellar and guest conductor Brett Mitchell, of the Colorado Symphony, collaborated for a luxuriant exploration of the concerto rather than a flashy, flamboyant one....

The concert concluded with Copland’s Symphony No. 3, known for its use of the composer’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Most of the work was characterized by pastoral scenery punctuated by surges of orchestral power.

Mitchell conjured a sense of spaciousness, especially in the third movement. The fanfare, introduced by flutes in the fourth movement, unfolded with spine-tingling grandeur. It seemingly spoke of a nation poised for an unbridled future of progress and prosperity, which the United States was when the piece premiered in 1946.

The concert opened with Liszt’s “Les Préludes,” one of music history’s original symphonic poems. Mitchell added drama with slower tempos than is usually heard. The relaxed pace was especially effective for the love theme in the middle before the work’s initial soaring theme returned with brassy glory at the end.

To read the complete review, please click here.