Stéphane Denève began his first full season as Artistic Director of the New World Symphony with a “rousing and lustrous”(South Florida Classical Review) programme themed around colour blue, representing Miami’s sea and sky, on 16 September at the New World Center in Miami, FL.
The evening began with Denève welcoming the 37 new fellows in the ensemble to audience applause. He then introduced the ensemble’s new conducting fellow, Molly Turner, who led An American Port of Call by Adolphus Hailstork.
Denève then took to the podium to conduct Ibert’s Escales (Ports of Call). Lawrence Budmen in South Florida Classical Review writes that, “Denève’s finely varied dynamics and textural clarity brought out the evocative glints of wind and string hues. Few conductors can draw the richness and luster Denève evokes from the strings.”
The second half of the programme continued the theme with Britten’s Four Seas Interludes from Peter Grimes, Op. 33a and Debussy’s La Mer.
Budman writes, “Debussy’s La Mer is the ultimate sea portrait and Denève’s lucid reading radiated cinematic scope without sonic excess. The opening rumble of basses and harps resounded with immediacy. All sections of the ensemble were playing at fever pitch with the final climactic pages of ‘From Dawn to Noon on the Sea’ powerfully rendered.
“Brisk tempos kept the aura light and bright for ‘Play of the Waves’. The emphatic opening bars of ‘Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea’ enunciated a change of mood with energy and well delineated inner voicings. Denève maintained tension and pulse through the final chords, concluding an exciting opening night concert.”
Denève’s next concerts with New World Symphony feature Prokofiev’s Romeo + Juliet, with mezzo-soprano on 14 & 15 October.
Click here to read Stéphane Denève’s interview with South Florida Classical Review and here to read his interview in the Miami Herald about his first season with New World Symphony.