Review: "Chamber Orchestra's Fall of the Berlin Wall"

A review of a recent performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony that I conducted as a part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

Solzhenitsyn broke with conventional practice and placed the four soloists with the chorus, in the balcony behind the orchestra. The soloists all possessed voices that could penetrate Verizon Hall from that position, so the placement enhanced their relationship with the chorus.

When the chorus responded to the tenor, it sounded like a true reply. When the soloists launched into a quartet interlude, they sounded like they really were leading a group celebration.

The presence of Philadelphia’s oldest volunteer chorus added to the symbolism of the event. What could be more appropriate than 100 of Philadelphia’s best singers voluntarily coming together to raise their voices in Beethoven’s great expression of universal joy?
— Tom Purdom, Broad Street Review