KC Symphony, Adam Schoenberg review by Paul Horsely
Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony adopts an accessible style but does not stray so far into a Hollywood idiom that it grows cheesy. The agreeable new piece, a Kansas City Symphony commission, received its world premiere on March 4th at the Lyric Theatre, with the Symphony led by music director Michael Stern. If the finale felt prolix in proportion to the overall length of the symphony, the piece revealed the soul of a strong musician with a natural sense of melody, a playful knack for rhythm and a serious approach to orchestration. Inspired by the 2008 election and its implications for change in America, the symphony nevertheless eschews conventional patriotism: There is, happily, no rousing rendition of the National Anthem.