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Constantine Kitsopoulos

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Reviews

Constantine Kitsopoulos press reviews

Baltimore Sun, July 2009
BSO turns 'Psycho'-tic, performing Bernard Herrmann's vivid score live with Hitchcock's film
By TIM SMITH
July 2009
The concept of performing live soundtracks to famous movies is one of the more entertaining and insightful ideas to come around in the orchestra business in recent years. For lovers of film scores, it means a rare chance to hear the music in a whole new light, not mixed in, but right out front, played in real time with what is being projected.

It would be easier, of course, to deliver such scores in a regular concert format, but this approach is much more fun. That was the case a couple years ago, when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presented The Wizard of Oz, and it's the case this week with Psycho, which boasts one of Bernard Herrmann's most telling and economical scores. (In today's paper, I have an article about the Psycho project.)

Thursday night at Strathmore, the effect wasn't totally overwhelming, as I had hoped. Even with 40 strings on stage, the sound didn't always come across with in-your-ear force. The famous shower scene, for example, with its brutal, high-pitched slashes from the in, could have used a few more volts.

Still, it was great to be able to savor so fully the inegnuity of Herrmann's score, with its almost minimalist writing, and his expert sense of how even just a couple of slowly rocking chords can intensify a scene. The ensemble played with considerable polish throughout, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, whose timing never erred as the wonderfully creepy action unfolded on a screen above the stage -- the prisitine print of the film was another distinct plus. The presentation repeats tonight at the Meyerhoff.
“Constantine Kitsopoulos makes the supple, sensitive orchestra sound like an extension of thought”
         New York Times


“Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts the score with invigorating energy”
        New York Daily News


“Kitsopoulos approach to Puccini’s most mature work was indicative of the high standards that characterized all three performances.”
        Mainichi Daily News


“Constantine Kitsopoulos wrought the musicians of the Hong Kong Philharmonic into an outstanding evening’s entertainment.”
        Hong Kong Standard


“Constantine Kitsopoulos displayed a stylistic flexibility that was nothing short of stunning”
        Lexington Herald Leader


“There is something of Bernstein in Kitsopoulos’ use of arm and body movement to sustain a phrase; he can shape a musical line through its rise and fall and hold it just long enough at the peak to savor it.”
        New York City Tribune