Stravinsky, Dumbarton Oaks
Stravinsky, Violin Concerto (Jörg Faßmann, Dresdner Staatskapelle)
Stravinsky, Firebird (1919)
Auditorium Adela Reta, Teatro SODRE, Montevideo, Uruguay
Julio César Huertas, Uruguay, 07/05/2013
An Enjoyable Tribute to Igor Stravinsky
Maestro Stefan Lano and the National Symphony celebrated a stupendous tribute to the Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, offering three important works from his varied and extensive output.
In the Dumbarton Oaks Concerto for chamber orchestra - a work inspired by the Third Brandenburg Concerto of J.S. Bach, Lano offered a version distinguished by the clarity and transparency of execution which come from his ever-scrupulous attention to the details of balance and articulation giving prominence to the intentions of the composer.
The program continued with a performance of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1931) with the German violinist, Jörg Faßmann - Concertmaster of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Although composed in a tonality which would normally be comfortable for violinists, the work is not free of the myriad difficulties of double-stops, trills, string-crossings and harmonics. Faßmann is a profound musician of great technical prowess and a refined artistic sense. His left hand is mechanically impeccable and brilliant; his trills are clear and his articulation and intonation are perfect. Lano, for his part, accompanied his colleague with austerity and brilliance, demonstrating his affinity for the spirit of the composer.
As a final jewel of the evening, Lano and the orchestra presented the 1919 version of the Firebird Suite in which Lano once again demonstrated his mastery as a conductor, eliciting from the orchestra a broad palette of color and interesting effects from this beautiful score. The public, not yet wishing the evening to end, applauded until they could oblige a repetition of the final movement. This was truly a most enjoyable concert.
Stefan Lano Conducts Stravinsky
...In the history of the National Symphony SODRE, there have not been many concerts devoted to one particular composer. In my more than five decades of attending concerts in Montevideo, I cannot recall there having been any concerts devoted solely to a composer of the twentieth century nor of Igor Stravinsky in particular.
This is not to imply that the works of this Russian master have not been valued. Although infrequently, his works have indeed appeared on programs at the SODRE. The problem is that one is confronted with a music which is very difficult to realize in terms of its technical complexity which requires an intense and systematic preparatory work with the orchestra, especially with the brass section which, up until recently, has been one of the weaker choirs of our orchestra.
The orchestra can now fortunately count on a Music Director who understands how to work in a most efficient manner as to attain results which would have seemed impossible earlier. To be sure, Stefan Lano feels very comfortable with the hard rationality of the neoclassical Stravinsky of the concerto “Dumbarton Oaks” and the Concerto for Violin as he does with the coloristically stylized energy of the “Firebird” - representative of the period when the great Russian composer revolutionized music history. His clarity of technique always serves to underscore the essential aspects of the music in which he attains remarkable results from the orchestra. And his efficiency is equally notable in purely orchestra repertoire as well as when he is accompanying Jörg Faßmann from the Staatskapelle Dresden in Stravinskyʼs Violin Concerto.
...In sum, this concert was yet another confirmation of the wiseness of having brought Maestro Lano to Montevideo in that he assures us an auspicious artistic growth of our National Symphony.