In Saturday’s (1/30) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini reviews the Houston Symphony’s Carnegie Hall concert on Thursday, which consisted of Stravinsky’s Scherzo Fantastique, Dutilleux’s Timbres, espace, mouvement, ou la nuit etoilee, and a multimedia performance of Holst’s The Planets. Regarding the latter, Tommasini asks, “What would Holst have thought about ‘The Planets—an HD Odyssey,’ presented by the Austrian conductor Hans Graf and the excellent Houston Symphony at Carnegie Hall? … The images in the movie, produced and directed by Duncan Copp, were often astonishing. Photographs from rovers and satellites, radar images of computer-generated graphics were combined to give the audience the impression of circling individual planets and sometimes flying over their awesomely barren landscapes. Still, I had to multi-task to appreciate this odyssey. The riveting video tended to overwhelm Holst’s nearly 60-minute suite.” Tommasini reports that Graf “is now in his eighth season [as music director] in Houston, and his orchestra is in good shape.”

Posted February 2, 2010