REVIEWS

NEW YORK SCANDIA SYMPHONY

“Who would have thought that one of the year’s most stunning moments in classical music so far would have taken place in the middle of the day at a landmark, downtown church?”
Alan Young, Lucid Culture

"So unfailingly lovely that those lucky enough to purchase the disc [of Lars-Erik Larsson's orchestral works] will be surprised that the composer has eluded their attention for so long a time".
Lawrence Vittes, Gramophone Magazine 

"Danish conductor Dorrit Matson matches the soloist's intensity and draws from the New York area players both the muscularity and ingenuity of this extraordinary score". 
"Vital, idiomatic, vigorous, exciting, propulsive, gorgeous."
Robert McColley, Fanfare 

"Dorrit Matson, the Danish born conductor led a lush, shimmering statement of Carl Nielsen's delightful Aladdin's Dream""
John Rockwell, The New York Times 

"The real surprise is the New York Scandia Symphony, a gem of an ensemble that delivers one suave, spirited and technically irreproachable performance after another…Not one to leave any interpretive stone unturned, Matson, who has a fine ear for instrumental and registrational balance, draws a sterling sound from her colleagues." 
John Bell Young, The St Petersburg Times 

There is an air of comprehension in their playing and a calmness in Matson’s reading. It’s the sort of harmonious arrangement that comes from understanding the bigger picture…..the core of Nielsen convincingly emerges.”
Gramophone Magazine

"The sound is gorgeous - it is amazingly good."
Donald Vroon, American Record Guide 

"The New York Scandia Symphony under Dorrit Matson offered a beautifully played program."
Bill Zakhariasen, New York Daily News 

"Maestro Matson has been working her musical charms on New Yorkers for a while…Matson expertly balanced the orchestra and the clarinet, delicately shifting their positions from dominant to subservient." Paul Shelden, The Clarinet 

"Once again, the stylistic acumen of the performers was masterly."
The Strad

"The New York Scandia Symphony serves as the a de facto New York branch of the Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian MIC’s, and offers wonderfully well performed programs of musical discovery and advocacy."
Jeffrey James, The Danish Pioneer

“Set against a backdrop of sculptured lawns and garden walkways, I discovered an orchestra composed of unbelievably talented musicians - inspiring the crowd to peacefully absorb this colorful musical journey”.
Johnny Walker, The Danish Pioneer








LUCID CULTURE


Concert review:
JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY
The New York Scandia Symphony Sell Out Symphony Space

Many years – maybe decades – before Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic were thrilling audiences with the sweep and majesty and blustery fun of Carl Nielsen’s symphony cycle, maestro Dorrit Matson was doing the same thing and more with the New York Scandia Symphony. She and the orchestra specialize in both classical repertoire and new music from the Nordic countries. Much of what they play is rare and relatively obscure, at least south of where the aurora borealis is flickering. Which makes them a unique and important part of this city’s cultural fabric.

And they’re not such a secret anymore: from the looks of it (a few empty seats in the balconies), their Thursday night concert at Symphony Space was sold out. The orchestra rewarded the crowd with rousing, dynamic versions of material that for the most part is not typical for them. This time out, the program wasn’t about discovery as much as it was revisiting some of Scandinavia’s greatest global classical hits via a joint 150th birthday salute to both Nielsen and Jean Sibelius.

The one lesser-known piece on the bill was Nielsen’s quirky, strikingly modernist Flute Concerto, quite a departure from the late Romantic material he’s best known for, but characteristically flush with subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) good humor. Soloist Lisa Hansen held the center with minute command of dynamics while jaunty motives made their way through a characteristically labyrinthine arrangement that was closer to a series of funhouse mirrors than the often stormy intensity of Nielsen’s earlier works. One of those on the program, the Overture from the opera Maskarade, balanced stiletto precision from the strings against the goodnatured rambunctiousness of the brass section (this orchestra’s brass has a visible camaraderie and chemistry, and will sometimes perform as a separate ensemble).

Drama, suspense and foreshadowing permeated the lushness of Sibelius’ At the Castle Gate (from his Pelease et Melisande suite). Matson brought the drama up several notches further with a roller-coaster ride through his Karelia suite, unleashing the triumph of the first movement, dipping to a long, enveloping sweep upward and then a graceful balletesque pulse that alternated with mighty stadium bombast. The orchestra closed with a similarly triumphant yet warily colorful take of Finlandia, leaving no doubt that this was written not as a piece of nationalistic pageantry but as a slap upside the head of Russian Tsarist aggression.

In addition to performing in concert halls, The New York Scandia Symphony puts on an annual free summer series at Fort Tryon Park, typically on Sunday afternoons in June: check back at their site for details.
April 12, 2015 Posted by delarue | classical music, concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | carl nielsen, classical music, concert review, dorrit matson, jean sibelius, Music, music review, New York Scandia Symphony, new york scandia symphony review, New York Scandia Symphony symphony space, New York Scandia Symphony symphony space review, orchestral music, sibelius, symphonic music.

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