THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Fabio Luisi

Review: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 | Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center


Front of the Pack

With Strauss and Beethoven, Fabio Luisi makes a strong case in the Dallas Symphony's search for a new music director.



published Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Photo: Lynn Goldsmith
Lise de la Salle

 

Dallas — The conductor parade continues at the helm of the Dallas Symphony. This weekend the Italian conductor Fabio Luisi was up to bat and he hit the ball hard and fast. The program was huge, and so was the orchestra for Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, and pared down considerably for the program opener, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with pianist Lise de la Salle.

It was a little odd to jump right into the Beethoven concerto without some kind of program opener. But the excessive length of the Strauss left little time for anything else.

The concerto starts softly, with only the piano. The orchestra exposition takes over and it is quite a while before the piano reenters. Luisi whipped up a lot of excitement and blasted the concert off to a rip-roaring start.

Photo: Barbara Luisi/BALU Photography
Fabio Luisi

Lise de la Salle matched Luisi in intensity when the piano came back in, and the concerto moved right along after that. She played one of Beethoven’s cadenzi for the first movement, the hardest one, and did a fine job with it. The slow movement was certainly slow. In fact, near the end it was if it might not make it across the finish line. When she arrived at the last movement, she set a reasonable pace to begin with but picked up speed as she went along. Overall, this was a fine performance of the concerto and de la Salle and Luisi were perfectly together throughout.

Ein Heldenleben is a troublesome piece in that it is self-aggrandizing to the max. The Hero (Held) of the title is none other than Strauss himself. Luisi delivered a terrific performance of the piece, although it hit top volume so many times that the very end was a little disappointing. The orchestra had no more to give. But the orchestra played magnificently throughout.

The hardest assignment in this overblown monument to ego goes to the concertmaster, Alexander Kerr, who portrays Strauss’ wife; sometimes nagging, cajoling, even raising  her voice (Kerr never screeched) while other times encouraging and even cooing. All of the solo players also have challenging passages and they acquitted themselves with honor, especially when portraying a group of nitpicking critics with a moaning tuba. (Strauss hated the critics and took this opportunity to give them the finger.)

Luisi is an exciting conductor to watch; active but not excessive, expressive without much showmanship. The music is the show with him. Obviously, both pieces are in his DNA because he only rarely looked at the score. He has a distinguished résumé and was even considered to be the next music director of the Metropolitan Opera at one time. He is certainly the big name that donors lust after.

When I saw Luisi conduct Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro at the Met, back when he was under consideration there, I was not impressed. (My review is here.) He was much more impressive in this concert.

With this DSO performance, he’s one of the frontrunners to replace the outgoing Jaap van Zweden. Of course, there’s more to consider. How much attention would be able to give the management of the musical life of the orchestra? He already holds a number of other prestigious musical posts, so he has experience there. He would be a fine choice. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Front of the Pack
With Strauss and Beethoven, Fabio Luisi makes a strong case in the Dallas Symphony's search for a new music director.
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie Casa Manana Last Five Years Stick Fly Dallas Black Dance theatre Spring Celebration Cry Havoc Outlaws HIR UNT Dance and Theatre Every Brilliant Thing Dallas Opera 2018 2019 Open Classicial Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit