Nathalie Stutzmann’s whirlwind first season as conductor and musical director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra attracts to an in depth. Stutzmann has emerged as an enchanting and invigorating presence. The ASO’s efficiency Thursday evening did a lot to remove darkness from the internal workings of Stutzmann’s musical imaginative and prescient and provide an explanation for her illusive je ne sais quoi that has energized the orchestra she helms.
The night time began with a preconcert screening of My Boléro with Nathalie Stutzmann, an ASO-produced documentary of about half-hour that follows Stutzmann as she takes a deep dive into the historical past and compositional nature of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. Stutzmann starts the movie with the statement that whilst Ravel’s Boléro is among the maximum recognizable items in all of track, it’s nonetheless misunderstood.
“One thing about the best way other people spoke concerning the piece — ‘gentle, simple, a laugh, easy’ — struck me as false,” explains Stutzmann within the movie. “Learning the rating, I simply knew that there used to be one thing else at the back of it — one thing darker. However what?” Thus starts a captivating re-examination of Ravel’s maximum enduring paintings and a visually luxurious trek to Stutzmann’s local France as she delves into the composition’s outstanding background.
Boléro has its origins as a ballet commissioned by means of dancer Ida Rubenstein, and an extra exam of that historical past, at the side of an intensive research of clues contained throughout the composition itself, led Stutzmann to conclude that the paintings is in fact ominous in nature.
She translates Boléro as an ever-escalating tale of a feminine dancer whose efficiency is ogled by means of an target audience of unsavory and an increasing number of unhinged males. Within the harrowing ultimate moments — when the piece is at its thundering climax — the lads are pushed to violence by means of the charming efficiency.
Those revelations fueled Stutzmann’s option to undertaking Boléro, and the movie presentations her at practice session getting ready the ASO with an intensive clarification of what occasions are unfolding within the tale because the composition builds upon itself.
That scene is going some distance towards explaining how Stutzmann has so revitalized the orchestra. Now not most effective is she a consummate grasp of undertaking from a technical point of view, her prepared consciousness of the classical track layout as a storytelling automobile opens up a brand new stage of reference to the items she conducts.
The live performance commenced with the overture to Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser, and that newfound figuring out of Stutzmann’s option to undertaking made the efficiency all of the extra relaxing. The place maximum conductors appear indifferent at the podium, Stutzmann strikes in a way this is personable and shut. She conducts as a lot together with her facial expressions as her hands and turns out to hold on transient nonverbal conversations together with her avid gamers. The impact is little short of invigorating and infuses the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with super power.
The second one piece, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37, noticed the ASO joined by means of French pianist Lise de los angeles Salle. Her efficiency used to be fluid and adept, with its maximum notable function being a way of delicacy carried out all through. It’s outstanding to listen to such tonal eloquence on one of these technically not easy piece, and it made for a deeply pleasurable concentrate.
That very same refined contact didn’t resonate as strongly in De los angeles salle’s surprising encore. The piece — a Ferruccio Bursoni piano transcription of a Johann Sebastian Bach chorale prelude in F minor firstly for organ — used to be so softly performed it used to be virtually inaudible. The piece itself used to be little greater than a gradual biking of arpeggiated patterns and looked as if it would blunt the target audience enthusiasm that De los angeles salle had constructed up together with her number one efficiency.
The night time’s 2d part used to be trustworthy fully to Ravel and opened with an orchestrated model of “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” a work firstly conceived of as a collection of solo piano items. As soon as once more Stutzmann’s personable taste used to be on complete show and there used to be a real sense of a laugh all through.
The piece itself has somber origins with every segment being impressed by means of a unique buddy of Ravel who died preventing in Global Battle I. However it’s transparent that the composer sought after to have a good time lifestyles slightly than wallow in morbidity. Stutzmann’s deeper figuring out of compositional intent used to be on complete show as soon as once more.
The night time concluded with Boléro in a grand and triumphant finale that had the close to capability target audience on their toes in enthusiastic applause. That efficiency, when heard together with the documentary, made it transparent that Stutzmann’s long run contribution to the ASO might be her holistic method with its prioritization of narrative and theatricality.
This can be a welcome innovation and one who bodes smartly for what’s going to with a bit of luck be many wealthy seasons to return.
This system repeats Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. (with out the movie).
Jordan Owen started writing about track professionally on the age of 16 in Oxford, Mississippi. A 2006 graduate of the Berklee School of Track, he’s a certified guitarist, bandleader and composer. He’s lately the lead guitarist for the jazz staff Different Strangers, the ability steel band Axis of Empires and the melodic loss of life/thrash steel band Century Spawn.