Osmo Vänskä. Photo by Greg Helgeson.

Osmo Vänskä and Alisa Weilerstein Collaborate with the Sydney Symphony — Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Beethoven

Inviting guest musicians Osmo Vänskä and Alisa Weilerstein to the Sydney Symphony makes an artistic match the muses approved of, not to mention the heavens. They only came for three performances in Sydney, and how they found time to rehearse this dense program thoroughly is a mystery to me, though a shared musical spirit and understanding seemed to be on their side in this performance. It was a rare conjunction of various uncontrollable elements. The program too is very interesting. The Sydney Symphony has found a ‘new’ Tchaikovsky piece, apparently never having played Voyevoda before, and has not played the Prokofiev sinfonia concertante for 40 years. Beethoven is always interesting (at the very least), but here we have a unique interpreter of his symphonies in Vänskä, who seemed even to find in Beethoven hitherto unheard connections to Prokofiev.

A Singer’s Notes, 6: West Toward Home

Now Route 7 is close to the center of my life; when I was in college it was Route 2; when I was a boy it was Route 29. Route 29 led to Saratoga, and that’s where I was last Saturday night. I went to see a Kander and Ebb show, “Curtains.” Not many community theaters have the guts to put up a show that parodies community theater. The quality of the production I saw made me realize Saratoga’s Home Made Theater had little to fear. Not to harp on this, but companies like this one are of great importance to me. Not everything that lives is in New York City.

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