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

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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!

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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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