Edo de Waart
750 B Street, San Diego
Korngold Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 36; Shaham, London Symp., Previn
Elgar - Nimrod (from "Enigma Variations")
As mentioned, Edo de Waart made his San Diego Symphony debut this past weekend. I attended the Sunday afternoon concert of January 11.
The format of the concert was typical: overture, concerto, large symphonic piece. What was not typical was the concert itself.
The sound of the orchestra had that certain special something. I would break into song regarding the orchestra at this point, but it wouldn’t come across the digital divide. The concert was that good.
Violinist Alina Pogostkina looked as though she belonged on a Grecian urn. Her dress was a bold choice and made her a musical Cassandra.
Whereas no one ever believed Cassandra’s prophecies, I was inclined to believe what Alina Pogostkina was expressing. Or, more accurately, what Korngold was expressing through her. On Sunday, Pogostkina was Korngold's prophetess.
Korngold’s Violin Concerto is an interesting piece. The first two movements sound as if Korngold is caught up in a mystical vision. The music is lyrical and poetic. In the third movement the Symphony's horns woke up and gave our ears a good boxing. They sounded great.
The brass was also gorgeous in Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The climax of the big Nimrod Variation was the special moment it should have been. I heard a woman say simply, “that was good.”
Sigh — yes, yes it was “good.”
The approach de Waart took during this central variation was très élégant. It would have been tempting to go all blastissimo at the point of climax but de Waart kept it beautiful and blasted us at the end of the piece.
In between, a man in the audience blasted a sneeze with such force that maestro acknowledged it in between variations.
The cellos and violas were out of this world at the top of Variation No. 12 B.G.N. It was expressive, heartfelt music being played with heart and expression.
The entire concert suggested that the work Maestro Ling has done to build the orchestra now gives guest conductors the opportunity to share their musical approach and style with us in an effective manner.
I would say that de Waart’s style came across beautifully, and that makes the future of the San Diego Symphony quite bright as they begin to consider finding a new music director.