Philadelphia Inquirer: Philadelphia Orchestra's new oratorio wit' cheesesteaks was great fun at its Philly premiere
By David Patrick Stearns.
The stage of Verizon Hall was so crowded with complex percussion and electronic equipment and, of course, the Philadelphia Orchestra that you weren’t sure how anyone could physically maneuver during the Thursday premiere of Philadelphia Voices by Tod Machover.
(Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Orchestra)
And that didn’t even count the amassed choirs that crowded the seating area overlooking the stage. Living up to its name meant Philadelphia Voices had a lot to encompass, and a seasoned composer like Machover cast a wide net that included not just orchestral effects but speech, singing, much in between, and field recordings made around Philadelphia.
Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but currently a guest professor at the Curtis Institute, Machover has written a number of city-driven pieces, and he spent the last year assembling this one in the spirit of a documentary filmmaker — though with no obligation to tell a linear story.