REVIEW: Concertos for Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Three very different pieces of music are showcased on this recording from the world premiere concerts of the work and indulges in the many different outlooks of music – performed with great depth and imagination by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.


Featuring the compositions of Zhou Tian, Thierry Escaich and Sebastian Currier, the album might be varied in style, but throughout there is a consistency in the tone and the way in which each piece changes mood in a split second and gradually getting more intense.

Opening with Zhou Tian’s Concerto for Orchestra, the piece switches between playful and gradual intensity that the listener barely has a chance to breathe and appreciate what they are hearing. It seems to be consistently in a rush and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can seem slightly too chaotic in places to really be enjoyed. But it has to be said that it is clear that the orchestra really relishes the intensity of the piece, drawing out every element of drama and performing it to the max.

In complete contrast to this, Thierry Escaich’s Pslamos is a much more reflective and sombre piece, yet equally dramatic in a quieter way. Once again the orchestra draw out every possible emotion in each note that ensures the listeners attention.

While Sebastian Currier’s FLEX has a sense of flair about it that is performed with great confidence by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, but it doesn’t quite capture the same amount of attention as the other pieces do. This is in part down to the lack of consistency and the attempt to cram as much in as possible, but not letting the strong components of the music to really ring out.

There is certainly no denying the sense of drama in the pieces and the confidence of the performances, but the pieces do feel slightly chaotic at times with a sense of a restless energy about them that is difficult to keep up with.

An interesting album that showcases a wealth of talent but needs to calm down at times so that listeners can appreciate the music more.

Concertos for Orchestra by Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra is available to buy and download through Amazon now. 

Rating: ❤❤❤

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