Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Courtesy photo) Mark Wigglesworth
Review: British conductor Wigglesworth wows the ‘New World’ faithful again
Review » The British conductor impresses in 3 diverse symphonies.
First Published Mar 07 2014 11:12 pm • Last Updated Mar 07 2014 11:12 pm

Week 2 of Mark Wigglesworth’s Abravanel Hall visit proved as enjoyable as the first. The British conductor led the Utah Symphony in a program of three radically different symphonies.

Wigglesworth has quickly endeared himself to Utah Symphony audiences with his engaging podium presence and the rapport he appears to have established with the orchestra. He brings something special out of the players, who always give lively and attentive performances under his direction. Each of the three works on Friday’s program felt like a living, breathing organism.

At a glance

Utah Symphony

Music of Mozart, Lutoslawski and Dvorák.

With » Conductor Mark Wigglesworth.

When » Reviewed Friday, March 7; repeats Saturday, March 8, at 8 p.m.

Where » Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City.

Running time » Two hours, including intermission.

Tickets » $23 to $60 at www.utahsymphony.org.

Learn more » Wigglesworth will discuss the music with Utah Symphony VP Toby Tolokan onstage at 7 p.m.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

First up was Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 ("Haffner"). From the orchestra’s assertive opening statement, it was clear this was going to be a colorful and invigorating performance. Wigglesworth, conducting from memory, maintained a thread of dramatic tension without sacrificing any of the music’s charm. Eric Hopkins’ enthusiastic timpani playing put a nice exclamation point on the piece.

Next came Witold Lutoslawski’s Symphony No. 4, which premiered in 1993. It was the Utah Symphony’s first performance of this fantastically imaginative work. The orchestra produced an amazing range of musical colors and effects, from extreme delicacy to arresting hammer blows. The 22-minute work also includes several aleatoric sections in which various orchestra members play freely within certain guidelines. It was fascinating to hear the sound evolve and transform itself like a sonic kaleidoscope.

As big a draw as late 20th-century music must surely be, it was probably Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World") that was primarily responsible for Friday’s healthy turnout. Wiggesworth conducted from memory again, with occasionally idiosyncratic effect. Even if you didn’t agree with every conducting decision, the orchestra always followed his lead with pliable and natural phrasing.

Several individual contributions stood out. Lissa Stolz’s sweet, sensitive delivery of the second movement’s famous English horn solo brought palpable emotion into the hall. Flutists Mercedes Smith and Lisa Byrnes and clarinetist Tad Calcara also were stellar. An understated reading of the third movement paid off when Wigglesworth unleashed the brass and percussion in the finale.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.