ASO: Donald Runnicles with Kirill Gerstein

Donald Runnicles opened this evening’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra program with the world premiere of a new piece by Marc Neikrug, “The Unicorn of Atlas Peak.” It is, apparently, named for a mutual acquaintance of Runnicles and Neikrug’s who, it seems, lives on Atlas Peak and may actually be a unicorn…or a guru…or just some dude whom they’ve both made up to hide the real way that they met, which probably involved some kind of scandalous intrigue or another. It began softly, with a kind of forced sense of mystery, and built up to something best described as meh. By the end it was completely uninteresting. It just never seemed to go anywhere nor to express anything meaningful. The parts that I found the most interesting seemed more like sketches of something that needs to be developed at a later time. It was not a strong start to the concert.
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