In Thursday’s (12/3) Toronto Star, John Terauds writes, “The clever programmers at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have assembled music about the New World and older things. Along the way, they are giving their own star principal trumpet, Andrew McCandless, a chance to shine. The result is an evening of well-performed, crowd-pleasing music. Most people secretly groan at the prospect of having to sit through new music before an orchestra gets around to playing the evening’s classical chestnut. But the audience at Roy Thomson Hall was clearly pleased with Wednesday’s world premiere of Songs of the Paradise Saloon: A Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, by Vancouver Symphony music director Bramwell Tovey, this week’s guest conductor. Commissioned for McCandless, Paradise Saloon and Tovey’s year-old programme-opening piece, Urban Runway, rely on a compelling mix of new and old, with a strong, dance-based rhythmic drive that recalls the more exuberant music of Leonard Bernstein. … McCandless, a paragon of stamina as well as nuanced expression, was flawless. The music itself was tuneful, accessible—and clever. Tovey, a lover of winds, gave the Toronto Symphony’s strong sections a chance to show off in style.” Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony rounded out the program.

Posted December 4, 2009