In Saturday’s (3/6) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “Charles Ives is generally cited as the great progenitor of American classical music, but it turns out that the tendrils of his influence and his example have an international reach. Ives’ transcendentalist fervor takes on a Russian cast in Victor Kissine’s ‘Post-scriptum,’ a beautiful, mysterious orchestral essay that had its world premiere in Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday night. The work was commissioned by (and dedicated to) Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, who played the piece with a wonderful combination of tender specificity and verve. … Kissine, who was born and raised in the Soviet Union and relocated to Belgium in 1990, describes ‘Post-scriptum’ as a response to Ives’ metaphysical masterpiece ‘The Unanswered Question.’ … Kissine’s mastery of the orchestra, in fact, is one of the most striking aspects of ‘Post-scriptum.’ The big chords that well up at the piece’s main structural points are superbly weighted and characterized—sometimes as sheer mass, sometimes built with a detectably hollow core—and the vague echoes that linger after each one, like the afterimage of a bright light on the retina, are marvelous inventions.” Also on the program were Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff.

Posted March 8, 2010