“Every so often, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra proves you have to see classical music as well as hear it,” writes Lawrence Toppman in the Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.). “If you don’t experience Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ at Belk Theater, you might never notice the cellos tapping out a pizzicato SOS while snarling brass march forward in ‘Mars,’ [or] the celesta twinkling like a tiny star amid the strings’ boisterous jollity in ‘Jupiter.’ … The visual element brings some fresh sensation. Music director Christopher Warren-Green joins this old favorite to Eric Whitacre’s new ‘Deep Field’ in an apt coupling: Both pieces depict objects in space and end with wordless choruses making gentle, ever-diminishing sounds and fading away to silence.  Where Holst thought astrologically, Whitacre thinks astronomically. He selected images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and mixed them with animation, making his 25-minute composition essentially a film soundtrack to accompany visual dazzlement…. The CSO has had fun all week with ‘Deep Field,’ from Instagram postings to a Belk Theater appearance by trombone player Tom Burge in a spacesuit…. Warren-Green asked audience members to download a free ‘Deep Field’ app and activate cell phones at a crucial moment, filling the hall with sound.”

Posted December 4, 2018

In photo: The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs Holst’s “The Planets” at Belk Theater. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Symphony