Dallas Symphony European Tour: Triumphant
What a thrill it was to be in the Concertgebouw in
Amsterdam with the Dallas Symphony last night! The concert was once
again sold out, and 2,000 people were treated to a performance of
Korngold's Violin Concerto and Mahler's Sixth Symphony.
And what a treat it was. Like in Eindhoven, Hilary
Hahn was celebrated with three curtain calls and performed her
encore of Gigue from the E Major Partita by Bach to the audience's
delight. Also like Eindhoven, after Mahler Six, huge ovations and
an encore performance of "Liebestod" from Tristan und
"If there was ever a time to be proud to be a
Dallasite, it was Tuesday night," said Scott Cantrell in the Dallas
Morning News. "In this Dutch city's 125-year-old Concertgebouw,
where the world's top orchestras parade through one after another,
where standing ovations are rare, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra got
one after every piece it played.
"In one of the world's most celebrated acoustical
settings - one whose spacious, luminous sound inspired the design
of Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center - the orchestra shimmered,
blazed, purred and blasted like, yes, one of the world's finest,"
"It was the kind of homecoming a conductor might
dream of," wrote Jerome Weeks of Art & Seek.
"Dallas Symphony's Mahler was absolutely fabulous:
transparent, crisp at times, warm - convincing" wrote Rolf
Wennekes, the DSO's translator. "What a sound show. And what a
moving discourse! And for Jaap many things came together in
Amsterdam. The city loves him."
I couldn't dream of a more successful concert last
night, and it seems I am not alone.
The Concertgebouw is a beautiful hall. When I
arrived this afternoon for rehearsal and stepped into the hall, I
felt as if I had traveled back in time to 1888, when the
Concertgebouw opened its doors for the first time. On the walls of
the Grote Zall (Great Hall, where the symphony performed) are the
names of many famous composers, including Mahler, Mozart, Wagner,
Handel, Haydn and countless others. If ever you find yourself in
Amsterdam, I encourage you to take a tour of the Concertgebouw, it
is truly magnificent.
Not only is the hall beautiful architecturally
(and acoustically!), the Concertgebouw holds a very special place
in the lives of both Maestro van Zweden and DSO Concertmaster
Alexander Kerr. At age nineteen, Jaap van Zweden became the
youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
When Maestro van Zweden began his conducting career in 1995,
Alexander Kerr, at age 26, became the Concertgebouw's
concertmaster. I know they are both very excited to be back onstage
here in Amsterdam; the history at the Concertgebouw is rich for
Maestro van Zweden and our orchestra, and it was a joy to be a part
of the homecoming.
For the next two days, we are all able to enjoy a
little down time in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Doug Howard,
principal percussion, and Karen Schnackenberg, principal librarian,
will be traveling to the battlefield of Arnhem, where World War
II's Operation Market Garden took place. Ann Marie Hudson,
associate principal viola, will continue her training for the
Boston Marathon with a 22 mile run through Amsterdam. I myself hope
to finally make it to the Rijksmuseum.
If you have any suggestions for outings in
Amsterdam, please let me know in the comments. And to stay up
to date on all things tour, don't forget to follow the Dallas
Symphony on Facebook (facebook.com/DallasSymphony) and Twitter (@DallasSymphony).