Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

Don't it always seem to go...

October 21, 2007

Another victory
Photo: mine 2007

What more can I say to convince anyone of how great the LA Philharmonic’s current Sibelius series is. Saturday saw Salonen lead them through Pohjola’s Daughter and the First and Third Symphonies in what Lisa Hirsch aptly coined a “corker” of a show. Everyone in London and Paris who has a chance to get tickets for the groups upcoming European tour should be snatching up the tickets if they know what’s good for them.

This Saturday I couldn’t help but feel a little bit bittersweet however when I thought about Salonen’s upcoming departure. Sure there has been a lot of excitement and heaps of praise over Gustavo Dudamel coming to town, but it's nights like this Saturday that I start to have my doubts. Does he really have Salonen’s interest or chops in new music? Will the group maintain its gorgeous clarity and detail? Could he pull of a series of Sibelius symphonies like this one? Maybe not, and maybe there are great things in store for us here in LA that we don’t have now, but I for one will greatly miss what we do have and no amount of excitement about the next big young thing is likely to ease that anytime soon.

There are two more shows left in this series. Tuesday Salonen will conduct the Sibelius Academy Orchestra in the composer’s works as well as those of Magnus Lindberg and next weekend he will lead the Philharmonic in Sibelius’ 5th and 6th symphonies as well as lieder performed with tenor Ben Heppner.


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