Conductor candidate Daniel Meyer homes in on Russian favorites

Portland Press Herald

For the fastidious, it might have made sense for the Portland Symphony Orchestra to have ended its season with Robert Moody’s valedictory concerts, thereby drawing a neat line under his tenure before taking off for the summer. But whether by design or happenstance, the orchestra took a more interesting approach, scheduling one more classical program after Moody’s farewell. Instead of waiting until fall to begin the post-Moody era, it has moved decisively forward.
The main job at hand, of course, is selecting Moody’s successor. With one of the original four finalists having dropped out to take another post, three contenders remain, two of whom – Ken-David Masur and Eckart Preu – have already led the orchestra in both classical and pops programs. The third, Daniel Meyer, conducted a pops program last month and returned on Sunday afternoon to present his bona fides in the classical repertory, with an all-Russian program at Merrill Auditorium. ... »

Calidore String Quartet makes gorgeous Philadelphia debut in Caroline Shaw works

Calidore String Quartet
Philadelphia Inquirer

In Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, the string quartet is asked to sound nothing like a string quartet. They create an airy effect several notches below a whisper. Two players tick-tock while the other two chime. We pass through a section in which Philip Glass meets Harold in Italy, and then move on to some instrumental moans and sighs.

It was the Calidore String Quartet bringing these sounds Sunday afternoon to a Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert. The performance marked the local debut of both the work and this gorgeous young ensemble. ... »

Violinist Faust, in a brilliant CSO debut, makes convincing case for flawed Schumann rarity

Isabelle Faust
Chicago Tribune

In the absence of anything truly new, the programs that fill the remaining six weeks of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's subscription season include several works of lesser importance by important composers.

Such was the case at the concert leading off the weekend series Friday night at Symphony Center, where the young German violin virtuosa Isabelle Faust made her CSO debut playing a 165-year-old concerto by Robert Schumann that was new to the orchestra's downtown repertory: the Violin Concerto in D minor.


Faust gave the lie to the standard rap that the music is unplayable - technically difficult, yes, but entirely playable if the soloist respects what's on the page. She stuck close to Schumann's metronome marking in the finale (which many fiddlers find problematic), making the polonaise rhythm feel light and dancelike despite the music's dogged repetitiveness. The movement is marked "lively, but not too fast," and that's exactly how she and Krivine treated it. 

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