Thoughtfully programming the basics at the National Symphony Orchestra

Posted on: October 1, 2018

“Gianandrea Noseda is taking the National Symphony Orchestra and its audiences back to basics—in a good way,” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (9/28) Washington Post. “He puts together pieces that share a theme, that are appealing to the ear and that a lot of people in the audience haven’t heard before. This week’s program … offered music based on visual art … Rachmaninoff’s sweeping ‘Isle of the Dead,’ based on Arnold Böcklin’s painting; Respighi’s ‘Trittico Botticelliano,’ based on three famous Botticelli works … and Mussorgsky’s classic ‘Pictures at an Exhibition.’ … This isn’t a blockbuster program guaranteed to sell out a house. It is a program to build affection and trust … The affection is for the beauty of the music…. The trust is that this music director will lead people to unfamiliar music that they actually like—and that, when it comes to familiar works such as ‘Pictures at an Exhibition,’ he will offer it with his own stamp…. Noseda’s energy is audible in the players’ response…. I was struck by the size and potential of the sound surging off the stage. It evoked a block of stone in the process of being shaped, offering hope of monuments ahead.”

Posted October 1, 2018