ASO: Robert Spano with Juho Pohjonen

It seemed that Maestro Spano was so excited about Mahler’s Symphony no. 1 in the second half of the program at this evening’s performance of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that he forgot that the piano concerto in G major played in the first half was actually written by Beethoven and not Mahler. He conducted it as though it were from the late Romantic period, which sounded horribly off with the smaller orchestra and the whole thing came across as though it were being interpreted by a brooding, teenage goth. Beethoven’s piano concerto no. 4 is one that rarely fails to delight me, but I found this slow, over-dramatic performance to be a total bore. I can’t even comment on Pohjonen’s playing in it because my mind was wandering so much from the tedium of the performance that I barely noticed him. He did, however, impress me with his playing of Grieg’s “Butterfly” during his encore.
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