Review: Under Runnicles, the ASO puts a joyful stamp on Mozart, Beethoven
By Mark Thomas Ketterson
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra took its audience on a delightful musical trip to Imperial Vienna by way of the Parisian aristocracy on Thursday evening. There was a lot of sunshine along the road. Recorded at Atlanta Symphony Hall in late March for this April premiere, the virtual concert included Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major — both very positive pieces that conquer through joy. Both were ebulliently performed by the ASO under the leadership of Donald Runnicles, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor.
One of the pleasures of the event was experiencing Runnicles in this particular music. Those who primarily associate him with the more refulgent offerings of the Romantic repertoire should be quite pleased with his work here. Both works skew a bit toward the lighter end of the output from their respective composers, and Runnicles responded with a fleetness of touch and keen dynamic awareness that proved in every way satisfying…
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 must be one of the most underrated pieces in the standard repertory, […] but when delivered with such elation as Runnicles accomplished here, it is irresistible.