Review: "Cleveland Orchestra inspires vigorous response at Hough Neighborhood Residency concert"

Judge Patricia Ann Blackmon made a guest appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra and conductor Brett Mitchell Thursday, Aug. 11 at East Professional Center, as the narrator in Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Judge Patricia Ann Blackmon made a guest appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra and conductor Brett Mitchell Thursday, Aug. 11 at East Professional Center, as the narrator in Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a review of Brett Mitchell's performance last night with The Cleveland Orchestra:

A vibrant, animated account of Gershwin's "An American in Paris" held down the classical fort, whisking off listeners to a now-faraway place and time when jazz when was young and incorporating it in concert music was gutsy and novel...

From the realm of Broadway, meanwhile, came Bernstein's Overture to "Candide." By way of a community concert opener, it was arguably the best of all possible selections, rife with catchy tunes and brought to life with abundant affection and sparkle.

No less evocative was Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." The orchestra turned in a momentous performance, and Judge Patricia Ann Blackmon proved a natural narrator, rendering the timeless text with vigor and heartfelt emotion. Also in this vein: John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts," a moving adaptation of the Shaker hymn famously performed at the inauguration of President Obama.

To read the complete review, please click here.