Review: Seattle Symphony, guest conductor and soprano scale ‘Alpine’ heights

The program of Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” and “Alpine Symphony,” with principal guest conductor Thomas Dausgaard and soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin, repeats June 17. On Thursday night, the SSO honored retiring trumpeter Geoffrey Bergler.

It’s always a thrill when the Seattle Symphony presents those late-romantic over-the-top works that require extra instrumentation. The current SSO program of music by Richard Strauss, unveiled Thursday evening, presents an orchestra of exciting proportions: extra woodwinds, a forest of French horns, exotic percussion (wind machine and thunder sheet), and massive brass (two tubas), all producing prodigious and sumptuous sound levels in two masterpieces.

The orchestra’s popular principal guest conductor, Thomas Dausgaard, was on the podium, opening with Strauss’ autumnal “Four Last Songs,” and concluding with the vividly pictorial…

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