Review of Carnegie Hall performance
N.Y. Times praises Houston Symphony's Planets
The Houston Symphony performance of The Planets — an HD Odyssey got a lot of attention from the New York Times. Reviewer Anthony Tommasani called the performance at Carnegie Hall Thursday night "inventive and ingeniously orchestrated, with resonances of Debussy and even early Schoenberg" but noted that the stark high-definition images of the planets selected by Duncan Copp "tended to overwhelm (composer Gustav) Holtst's nearly 60-minute suite."
Tommasani also wrote that "the orchestra is in good shape" in its eighth season under conductor Hans Graf.
On The New York Times arts blog, writer Daniel J. Wakin was a little snarkier as he highlighted the symphony's motives for producing the piece.
"The Houston Symphony, like many of the country’s fine orchestras just below the elite rank, struggles to carve out a profile for itself. The “Planets” production is a natural way to do that, given the city’s NASA connection. It also hopes to make some money by licensing the film to other orchestras. Hans Graf, the symphony’s music director, said there has been interest."