James Oestreich Reviews Symphonie des Dragons Performance



The recent New York City performance by Symphonie des Dragons, perhaps the first professional oboe band in North America, earned a mostly positive review from James Oestreich of the New York Times. The concert, part of the Boston Early Music Festival’s New York series, took place at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Oestreich’s review was descriptive, educational, and appreciative (especially of ensemble director Gonzalo Ruiz‘s contribution), yet towards the end he takes a dark turn.

“What forcibly struck a longtime follower of the New York early-music scene in the massed performances was just how many players hereabout are now adept on period double-reed instruments. A false entry here or there was inevitable from a pickup band basically unconducted, and a few odd squawks served as useful reminders of how intractable performance on these instruments can be.”

It’s become cliché to point out that the Baroque oboe, or any period instrument for that matter, can be difficult to control. The observation comes off as an apology, one that you’d never hear from a professional.

Learn More: Boston Early Music Festival Website

(Image courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival)

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