Scheherazade.2 is not your storytelling heroine who pacifies her murderous Sultan husband with 1,001 nightly narratives. She is a woman warrior, which was made dramatically clear by Leila Josefowicz’s performance of John Adams’ violin symphony Friday morning at Powell Hall. The first movement of the work left me breathless (I know this is a cliche, but I truly had to remind myself to breathe). The second movement began with the orchestra on its own, with Josefowicz standing center stage as if she was ready to take on all comers. It’s an astonishing piece, an astonishing performance, with brutal phrases, stabbing gestures, and in the fourth and final movement an ultimate stillness that again caught my breath. They do it all again Saturday night. Go!
Thanks to second violin Becky Boyer Hall for the photos.