Concert Review: Atlanta Symphony premieres new Gandolfi work

Posted on: January 14, 2013

In Saturday’s (1/12) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, James L. Paulk writes, “Thursday was a big night for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, featuring the world premiere of a clarinet concerto by Michael Gandolfi as well as the company debut of a fast-rising Finnish pianist, Juho Pohjonen. Gandolfi, from Boston, belongs to a select group of composers chosen by Robert Spano, ASO’s Music Director. Members of this ‘Atlanta School’ are regularly commissioned by the orchestra. In the program and in interviews, he explained that the new work, ‘The Nature of Light,’ grew from his work on a recent choral work, ‘QED: Engaging Richard Feynman,’ also an ASO commission. Gandolfi said he realized that the material in ‘QED’ could go in a different direction, and began thinking especially of the clarinet. The availability of Laura Ardan, ASO’s principal clarinetist and one of its superstars, was surely a big factor in this choice. … Gandolfi’s work often involves scientific metaphors, and this one deals with light. The first movement (of two) expresses the ‘wave shape’ of light and is a chaconne. … The demanding work was written with Ardan in mind, and her performance clearly enhanced its appeal. Her performance showed both technical wizardry and a fine feel for the feelings it expresses. … Spano and the strings were attentive and supportive.”

Posted January 14, 2013