Artsfile review: Baltic brilliance with Olari Elts and Sibelius Second at NACO


Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabo

This week for Artsfile, I reviewed Wednesday’s night’s NACO concert with guest conductor Olari Elts making his Canadian debut. On the program were Busoni’s seldom-performed Lustspiel-Overture, Sibelius’ Second Symphony, and the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf with the regal Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó. Here’s an excerpt:

“There’s an irresistible energy and joy in Elts’ conducting style; he leaps about the podium, sweeping his arms and hands in enthusiastic but exquisitely clear, focused gestures. His gift for revealing inner structures gave the symphony a fresh, living dimensionality. Elts took full advantage of NACO’s hybrid chamber/symphonic sound, working at close range to produce a magical balance between sternum-rattling power and painterly detail and transparency.”

Read the full review here. And don’t forget to become an Artsfile subscriber!


Estonian conductor Olari Elts


Tomorrow night I’ll be listening to Louis Lortie play the complete Chopin Preludes and Étude, as he bids adieu to that particular repertoire with a farewell tour.


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