The No. 4 Hot Pick of the 2016-17 season, as selected by the orchestra musicians, is the Dvorak Cello Concerto weekend, featuring Alban Gerhardt making his STL Symphony debut.
Gerhadt playing Dvorak is not the only highlight of the program, as many musicians gave a shout out to Stravinsky’s Petrushka. Double bassist Dave DeRiso calls Stravinsky “one of my favorite composers. I find his music so engaging. It can be primal, humorous, haunting and uplifting all in the course of a couple minutes.” Principal Oboe Jelena Dirks refers to Petrushka as “such an imaginative, colorful and exciting work,” and Principal Harp Allegra Lilly says without equivocation, “I love all things Stravinsky.” Lutoslawki’s Chain 3 and guest conductor Hannu Lintu also receive praise. October 14-16, 2016.
Wednesday: Hot Pick No. 3. Music in the American grain.
Beth Guterman Chu and Jonathan Chu are the solo artists for Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante this weekend. They had their first rehearsal with the orchestra and guest conductor Hannu Lintu Wednesday morning. They’re not doing the Miles Davis back-to-the-audience thing for the concerts. Some soloists prefer to turn and play to the orchestra in rehearsal, especially vocalists–Susan Graham and Christine Brewer are notable examples. Beth and Jonathan told me they’ve had a wonderful time working on the piece together. Put the kids to bed and then practice.
The Lemminkainen myth is tremendously complex, with motifs reminiscent of heroic figures such as Achilles, Orpheus and Don Juan. Guest conductor Hannu Lintu began to take a moment in rehearsal to give the musicians some narrative background with which to perform Sibelius’ Lemminkainen’s Return. Rehearsals, however, are not conducive to the telling of long mythic tales more appropriate for endless Finnish winter nights. “I could tell you the story,” Lintu paused, “but there’s no time, no time.”