Reviews

Gustav Mahler, Second Symphony
National Symphony of Uruguay (SODRE)

BUSQUEDA (Montevideo)

Rodolfo Ponce de León, 27 November 2014

Great Music of Our Time: Lano conducts Mahler’s Second Symphony

When one returns to listen to the Second Symphony (“Resurrection”) of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) in an interpretation as brilliant as that conducted by Stefan Lano this past Saturday, 22 November in the National Theater, the inevitable result is to recall the author’s emulation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, composed some seventy years earlier.

...The version presented by the National Symphony SODRE with Uruguayan soprano Sandra Silvera, Argentine mezzosoprano Eugenia Fuente and the Chorus of the SODRE, all under the direction of Stefan Lano, will remain in the memories of all in attendance as an excellent culmination of the symphonic season. One noted the impeccable work of Lano in all sections of the orchestra. Woodwinds, strings, brass and percussion brought forth a quality of sound such as we have seldom heard. We know that Lano avoids excessive bending of phrases and that the clarity of his conducting controls any circumstantial alterations of pulse. What is evident is that Lano is very comfortable with Mahler, a fact which is understandable if we take into account that the nucleus of his musical formation brought him for many years to Berlin, Graz and Vienna.

We do not know if this was his farewell concert in Montevideo, as there remains a question mark whether he will renew his contract. The visible empathy between Lano and his musicians, the quality of his work and the unusually long ovation from the public could be very good omens that the best decision will be made.

EL PAIS Uruguay

Julio César Huertas, 1 December 2014

A Grateful Farewell to the Maestro

While in the auditorium of the National Theater one perceived an atmosphere of sadness, in the rest of the music world there was celebration of the Day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music.

Lano’s choice of the work for his final concert could not have been more eloquent: the gigantic Second Symphony of Gustav Mahler as a final crown jewel capping off his three years of outstanding work during which the National Symphony SODRE evidenced a return to the level of excellence which it enjoyed during the epochs of Erich Kleiber, Paul Paray and Fritz Busch. Lano not only prepared the orchestra to an extraordinary level of detail, rather he knew how to create with his imperious conducting technique and his force of temperament, an atmosphere in which the musicians felt engulfed in a passionate collaboration.

...The Maestro obtained from the orchestra sudden changes of dynamics, very eloquent accents, expectant pauses and those dramatic explosions which are the essence of this Resurrection Symphony. The farewell concert of Maestro Lano was, with any doubt, a golden crown of these three years of arduous work with the Orchestra. He ends in brilliant form having achieved a musical level for which we shall never be able to reward him.

Maestro Lano will take with him the gratitude and admiration of all of us, and the certainty that his name will never be forgotten by those who truly love the high art of classical music of which he is one its most legitimate representatives. The farewell of the Maestro was crowned with a grand ovation from both the audience and the orchestra, chorus and soloists, obliging him to return to the stage numerous times to acknowledge the many demonstrations of affection and admiration which he has won during his time here.

Let us hope that the future authorities who assume their posts next March will take note of the excellent accomplishments benefitting our beloved National Symphony SODRE - thanks, fundamentally to Maestro Stefan Lano.