Review: Colburn School student orchestra tackles first act of “Walküre” with Esa-Pekka Salonen and stellar soloists

Posted on: November 11, 2019

“For years Esa-Pekka Salonen has been gingerly circumnavigating ‘The Ring,’ ” writes Mark Swed in Tuesday’s (11/5) Los Angeles Times. “He has programmed the occasional orchestral and vocal excerpts of Wagner’s four-opera colossus with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and elsewhere…. The L.A. Phil conductor laureate has joined the faculty of the Colburn School, and on Sunday afternoon at … Segerstrom Concert Hall, he led the Colburn Orchestra in an electrifying concert performance of the first act of Walküre. Before that, Salonen led a characterful reading of Mathis der Maler.… After warming up, Simon O’Neill [as Siegmund] … rang out splendidly. James Creswell … was a convincingly threatening Hunding…. Waltraud Meier, one of the great Wagner singers of our day … sang the last Sieglinde of her career. It is a role she has owned for more than a quarter century. Obviously, she can’t be Sieglinde forever, but firm vocal control isn’t everything…. She has a sense of what a phrase means, and what is behind the sentiments…. You can easily tell Colburn is a student orchestra by the players’ youth. You can’t tell so easily if you close your eyes. Salonen sought out, and got, myriad Wagnerian sound worlds.”

Posted November 11, 2019