Concert Review: Atlanta Symphony brings unusual program to Carnegie Hall

Posted on: November 7, 2011

In Monday’s (11/7) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “The conductor Robert Spano has a well-deserved reputation for innovative programming, bolstered by 10 high-growth seasons as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. … Yet on paper the program Mr. Spano planned for the Atlanta Symphony’s concert at Carnegie Hall on Saturday night looked like a curious selection of pieces. To open there was a new work by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Scriabin’s ‘Poem of Ecstasy,’ Symphony No. 4 (completed in 1908), seemed an unusual choice to follow the Salonen. The second half offered a popular staple: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (1909), with the masterly pianist Garrick Ohlsson. As usual, though, Mr. Spano knew what he was doing. The surprising musical resonances among these diverse scores came through vibrantly in three brilliant performances. Mr. Salonen’s ‘Nyx’ is an 18-minute, single-movement pulsing piece for large orchestra, first performed in February in Paris. Mr. Spano conducted the American premiere recently in Atlanta. … ‘Nyx’ is especially alluring during its long stretches of delicate, transparent writing. Mr. Spano drew glowing, incisive playing from the orchestra.”

Posted November 7, 2011