ASO: Robert Spano with Daniel Hope, David Finckel, and Wu Han

Last night’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert was particularly festive. The concerto for the evening was Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and the triplets for this performance were Daniel Hope, the associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival, along with David Finckel and Wu Han, who are the founding artistic directors of Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival. Robert Spano, the music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, conducted. Even the concertmaster, David Coucheron, is the Artistic Director of the Kon Tiki Chamber Music Festival. This program will be performed again tonight at the Savannah Music Festival. With that much festivity on one stage, there really should have been a lot more sequins.

I’m not a huge fan of the Triple Concerto, but it’s not bad. I thought that this performance was a bit dry, but it wasn’t unbearably so. It seemed that each of the piano trio had a bit of their part that they liked and put a little more of themselves into, so there were these flashes of feeling coming through often enough to hold my attention.

As an encore, they performed from one of Beethoven’s piano trios. I liked both the piece and their playing much more. If their performance in the concerto sounded to me kind of like they were still developing their performance of if the piece, this one felt much more mature.

Prior to the concerto was an really solid performance of the Egmont Overture. I think Spano did an excellent job bringing out the dramatic elements without pushing it too far. Some performances of it kind of feel like they’re trying to put a high-Romantic sheen on it, as though it were written 75 years later, but the expressiveness of Spano’s take seemed well grounded in the composer’s score.

Spano did a similarly excellent job with Schumann’s Spring Symphony, which ended the concert. The conductor described the piece well when he referred to it as ebullient and I think that this performance of it could be described with the same word. It was a joyful conclusion to a truly enjoyable concert.

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