WASO's Ledger premiere a triumph

09.07.15
Asher Fisch
The West Australian

At its world premiere on Friday evening, James Ledger’s most recent work Simpler Times was listened to by a near-capacity audience with Asher Fisch and the WASO on their mettle as the composition flashed into often dark life.

Throughout, one felt that conductor and orchestra were giving of their best to launch in the most effective way, a “Made in Perth” product which I hope will soon be exported to other countries.

It certainly deserves wide recognition.

If you weren’t at the concert, do endeavour to catch the broadcast on ABC Classic FM. It’s too significant to miss — and that applies as much to Fisch’s direction of Tchaikowsky’s Fifth.

Here, in top form and conducting from memory (rare nowadays on the international concert circuit), Fisch took the WASO through a reading of such sonic splendour that this often-performed score came across with an appealing freshness, no mean feat in relation to a work so frequently trotted out at concerts.

Particularly in the more introverted episodes of the slow movement, Fisch ensured the music was given sufficient time to breathe so as to allow the listener to savour its every moment.