ASO: Edward Gardner with Simon TrpĨeski

Maestro Edward Gardner gave a brief introduction to the pieces on the program before he began conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in last night’s all Rachmaninov program. I always appreciate it when conductors or soloists give a bit of an intro like that: even if everything they say is in the program notes, the way that they say it gives a clue as to how they see the work. He did a decent job as a conductor, too. He took Isle of the Dead dramatically but not without sensitivity to begin the concert. There was nothing exceptional or exciting in his interpretation, but it was good. Similarly, Symphonic Dances at the end of the program got a solid treatment but without anything notable standing out about Gardner’s approach. I don’t think that I had known until I read the program notes before the concert that Rachmaninov had originally started work on the piece as a ballet to be choreographed by Fokine. It’s a shame that the choreographer died before its completion because I think that the music suits his choreographic style immensely well.
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