“This weekend’s concerts by Maestro Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra featured an international cast of composers and performers with an emphasis on mythical characters—Hindu goddesses, a Persian spirit and a Russian magical folk character,” writes Fred Blumenthal in Monday’s (3/13) St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The ‘Goddess Triptych’ by the contemporary American composer Stacy Garrop describes Durga (who) Battles a Buffalo Demon, Lakshmi (who) Sits on a Lotus Blossom and Ganga (who) Cascades from the Heavens…. The music [for the goddess Durga], scored for large orchestra, is exotic, exciting and powerful while still tonal. The music for her second goddess, Lakshmi, is much calmer, emphasizing string harmonics and woodwinds. The third goddess is Ganga [whose] movement begins with scampering music and later features enormous crescendos. The composer was present to witness the world premiere and standing ovation, and piccolo soloist Ann Choomack was given a solo bow.” Goddess Triptych was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras as part of the Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program. Also on the program were Paul Dukas’ La Péri (Poème dansé), Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5 with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. “Denève began the concert with the Ukrainian national anthem with both orchestra and audience standing in respect.”