START YOUR ENGINES: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra kicked off its season Thursday night with a rip-roaring reading of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Sitting fourth row center, I could swear that Jaap Van Zweden left his feet a few times during the more spirited passages. Our local reviewers mostly gave big thumbs up for the performance. Reviewing for Art&Seek, Olin Chism writes, “There wasn’t a dull measure to be heard.” Taking the praise up a notch, Scott Cantrell says on dallasnews.com, “van Zweden made the whole performance a miracle of finely gauged tone and loving detail.” Gregory Sullivan Isaacs wasn’t quite as thrilled as the other two in his review for theaterjones.com. He had some nits to pick about van Zweden’s reading of the piece, but that didn’t keep him from enjoying the music. He blazes his own path, though, in his review of soloist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg‘s performance of Barber’s Violin Concerto. Salerno-Sonnenberg is known for pouring every ounce of her being into her playing, and it shows in her wild gesticulations and facial expressions. For Sullivan Isaacs, that was a-ok. “She loves every note and who cares if it shows?” For the other two, it was off-putting. “Her displays of virtuosity were not adequate compensation” for her “twitchy visual mannerisms” according to Chism. Cantrell was downright disgusted: “I felt dirty for having witnessed the dismantling of a beautiful piece.”
HAVE A SEAT: On Sunday, the Dallas Museum of Art opens The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs, an exhibition of the imaginative furniture-maker’s work. The retrospective is in the middle of a three-year tour; the DMA is one of five stops. At this point, you might be asking, “Who is Charles Rohlfs?” Don’t worry – you’re not alone. But I feel like I know the guy after reading this story that ran in The New York Times last year. It’s a solid primer if you plan on taking in the show.
WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM: The Rohlfs show isn’t the only one opening this week. The Amon Carter opens Views and Visions: Prints of the American West, 1820-1970. Reviewing for dfw.com, Gail Robinson calls the shows “one of the Carter’s most interesting shows in years.” And to think, it’s only here because a planned show was postponed. As is often the case when that happens, the museum is forced to root through its collection to piece together something that seems fresh and new. In this case, the Carter pulled off the trick. “The Carter dug deep into its vast resources for this show, pulling out prints it has collected since it became known as the ‘Western art museum’,” Robinson writes. “It has tried to expand its horizons and reputation to become an American art museum, but it can’t deny the strengths in its vaults.”