MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Lee Mills Returns to Seattle Symphony: Beethoven, Corey, and Ripper

Lee Mills and Seattle Symphony in Beethoven’s Seventh

UPDATE: This is a fantastic program and well worth seeking out this weekend. I was completely enchanted by João Guilherme Ripper’s touching, witty, sophisticated, and deliciously melodic song cycle based on the poetry of the legendary Vinicius de Moraes. Mills does a great service introducing this prolific Brazilian composer to U.S. audiences — and this is just one peek into the wealth of creativity south of the border that is routinely ignored here. Filling in at the last minute, lyric soprano Tess Altiveros brings passion and humor to her interpretations.

And Mills inspires the SSO to a refreshingly buoyant account of Beethoven’s Sixth. He closely follows the composer’s metronome markings but without sounding rushed or hectic., The result really is akin to breathing in the invigorating freshness of the countryside — and above all elicits the joyful elation of this score.

Two more chances to hear the program: Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm.

Lee Mills, who finished his tenure as Seattle Symphony Associate Conductor last season, returns this week to lead the band in what promises to be an interesting program of Beethoven and contemporary composers. We’ll hear the world premiere of Charles Corey’s Together, This Journey, commissioned and composed in collaboration with members of Northwest Center and Best Buddies (originally as part of the 2020 Beethoven Festival) and Brazilian composer João Guilherme Ripper’s Cinco poemas de Vinicius de Moraes. Written for soprano (Tess Altiveros) and orchestra, Ripper’s piece sets five poems by Moraes to sketch out the story of the poet’s life. And Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony will complete the program.

I wrote a profile of Mills just about a year ago for Musical America.

Performance times:

Thursday 9 February at 7.30 pm

Saturday 11 February at 8.00 om

Sunday 12 February at 2.00 pm

Tickets here.

Filed under: Beethoven, conductors, Seattle Symphony


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