Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 11th June 2018

“For Sergei’s Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise,” the program opener, the additional strings from the Youth Orchestra gave the Festival Orchestra an unusually lush, satiny sonority that could not have been better suited to the composer’s effulgent style: urgent, dramatic surges capped with dreamy themes. Francis certainly appeared delighted to work with this larger ensemble, and I cannot recall a more pleasurable account of this endearing piece.”