Out West with the BSO: The critical view from the Bay Area
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle: [The] weekend's most sustained achievement came during Friday's robust and pointed rendition of Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony. This was also, not coincidentally, the best opportunity to assess the current state of this orchestra, which has not performed live in the Bay Area in at least a quarter of a century.
To judge from the Prokofiev, at least, things are ...
And Alsop drew those strands together deftly into a performance of eloquence and specificity ... the orchestra caught the quicksilver wit of the second movement with wondrous clarity.
... the paired opening selections, Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" and Joan Tower's "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman," could have been a little more crisp and focused ...
[Jennifer Higdon's] Percussion Concerto sounded largely like a collection of effects in search of some strong musical ideas.
Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News: Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony also received a dynamic performance. Alsop introduced the first movement's weighty blocks of sound in a firm, well-paced rhythmic flow; the woodwinds were outstanding here, both in the principal theme for flutes and bassoon, and the second theme for flute and oboe. But there was fine playing throughout the orchestra. The violins voiced with warmth and definition, the dusky low strings sang, and the horns played with a crisp, assertive edge.The conductor and her orchestra returned for a single encore: Borodin's vivacious "Polovtsian Dances."