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Gustavo Dudamel's trademark orchestra-view bow at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall.
Robert Harris of Toronto's the Globe and Mail begins "The Subtle Magic of Gustavo Dudamel," his review of the LA Phil's Toronto concert, by calling Wednesday "an evening of magisterial music-making by a remarkable conducting talent." And it just gets more magical from there.
At the end of the Tchaikovsky, Gustavo Dudamel spent several minutes working his way through his orchestra, thanking them for their performances, before he turned, from a spot deep within his players, to face the cheering Roy Thomson throng. It was a very nice and telling touch, the behaviour of a conductor, however famous, who understands that his players are central to who he is.
Our Music Director's humility was not his only attribute on display in Harris' view. Dudamel's singular talent made one of classical music's most recognizable works new again.:
Dudamel energized Tchaikovsky by bringing out the beautiful inner parts of his harmonies, by following his musical lines to their logical conclusion, not abandoning them when the pretty tunes ran out, and by making the most of the composer’s vital and sometimes complex rhythms. Dudamel took Tchaikovsky, in a word, seriously. This musician of the south joined hands with this composer of the north, and the result was a winter scene, to be sure, with its drama and extremes, but bathed in the sunshine of midday.
Montreal's La Presse has already previewed tonight's perfomance at Maison symphonique as "the (week's) main event," explaining that the orchestra will be playing the "familiar" Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5.
That last part remains to be seen, n'est-ce pas?