Review: The MacMillan Saxophone Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Nick Carter – Adelaide Advertiser 20/08/2018

Words by Christopher Wainwright

ADELAIDE Symphony Orchestra broke orchestral programming traditions with aplomb by choosing to program three diverse works by Faure, James Macmillan and Rachmaninov. Gabriel Faure’s Pelleas et Mélissande – Suite, an early 20th century Romantic orchestral work, is an imaginative Impressionistic piece which stunningly uses the sounds of the modern orchestra. Under the direction of chief conductor Nicholas Carter, one experienced a delightfully sophisticated and considered ASO performance. From Faure, one moved to the 21st-century sound world of Scottish composer, Sir James Macmillan’s Saxophone Concerto, where the ASO and acclaimed Sydney saxophonist Amy Dickson gave its Australian premiere. Dickson, for who the work was written, has an impressive technique and seemingly endless breath control. Whether in Dickson’s spine-tingling soft sound, her smooth movement across her instrument’s range or her strong rhythmical precision in long fast-flowing passages, it was hard not to be impressed. To close, the ASO went to the big end of Romanticism with Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 3, a work which demonstrated his mastery skills as a composer and orchestrator. As was the case with the Faure, the ASO gave a very compelling performance.