“…the communication between Halls and his forces never flagged. “Messiah” is a long work, but this performance never dragged…Berger, making his SLSO debut, was a particular standout. His is a rich, well-produced voice, and he sings with feeling and understanding.” – Read more at St. Louis Post Dispatch
“Conducting without a baton (as he did for the entire concert), Mr. Halls summoned those dramatic opening chords with a big, sweeping two-armed gesture and took the Adagio maestoso introduction at a relaxed pace that made the brisk first appearance of that main theme, expertly played by Associate Principal clarinet Diana Haskell, that much more […]
“British conductor Matthew Halls, in his SLSO debut, led with plenty of vigor and no baton…. His account of the Schubert was as well-formed as it was energetic.” — Read more at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Halls led the orchestra in the familiar strains of the first movement with bold energy and élan. The grand, faintly pompous waltz of the 3rd movement gave way to a 4th that felt as though Halls and the orchestra were playing with contained energy. It’s as if they had all the sonic energy of Mozart’s […]
“One of Halls’ many strengths is his ability to keep the musical momentum moving forward, no matter what interpretive obstacles the music presents….a powerful conclusion to another successful Oregon Bach Festival.” — Read more at The Register Guard.
“Guest conductor Matthew Halls, artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival, led the program – which also included Shakespeare-themed music in the first half of the program — with nuance and perfect dramatic timing.” — Read more at cincinnati.com.
“The concert opened with Ravel’s always welcome Pavan for a Dead Princess, a melodic gem and one of the composer’s most popular works. Gentle and pliant, this too was eloquently rendered by Halls and the CPO, opening a concert filled with beautiful music performed with the competence and care that Calgarians have become increasingly accustomed […]
“The orchestra’s dynamic range, as it traveled through Beethoven’s pleasant meadows and thunderstorms, was as broad as the modern orchestra can create, yet still maintained, under Halls’ guidance, a sense of classical precision.” — Read more at Texas Classical Review.
“Matthew Halls led fresh, caringly detailed performances of both works…With just two dozen strings for the Vivaldi, Halls molded a performance at once suavely stylish and vividly illustrative…Let’s hope Halls returns early and often.” — Read more at dallasnews.com. Photo: Michael Ainsworth