Concert Review: Zacharias debuts as artistic partner at Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Posted on: December 1, 2009

In Friday’s (11/27) St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota), Rob Hubbard writes, “If you’re looking for a soloist or conductor equally adept at the music of Austria, Germany, France, and Italy, maybe their neighboring country of Switzerland would be a good place to start. Christian Zacharias fits the profile. The native of Switzerland remains one of that country’s most vital musicians, both as artistic director of the increasingly acclaimed Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and as an internationally renowned concert pianist. On Friday morning, Zacharias made his debut as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s newest artistic partner. And the first stop for this leader with the pan-European perspective was France. Three Parisian composers were represented on a program that not only brought out Zacharias’ strong interpretive ideas, but demonstrated that his relationship with the orchestra’s musicians is far beyond what one would expect at a debut concert. … Georges Bizet’s ‘L’Arlesienne’ has often been used to show off a symphony orchestra’s big sound. But Zacharias extracted selections of the work that were far more intimate and involving, showing that this group can do splendid things with Romantic music. Fresh insights also emerged on two works by Francis Poulenc.”

Posted December 1, 2009