Sean Scully - Black Fold
De Burgos, who was Principal Guest Conductor of the NSO from 1980 to 1988, conducted with the confidence and steadiness of a Kapellmeister but the lilt and gait that a native Spaniard might more likely possess than a Teutonic time-beater. He safely guided the NSO through the symphony but could not prevent some sour departures from the planned course, courtesy of strings and horns in the first movement and, embarrassingly, the trumpets in the fifth. If marked by unevenness, the whole had a light horizontal drive to it, the freshness of linen fluttering on cloth lines in the sun for the second movement, a soft, comfortable, and wholesome quality: chicken-soup for the musical soul. Turning one’s Beckmesser-counter off, there was a nice dense quality to enjoy from the sound of the orchestra – and a round, full third movement was followed a forceful thunderstorm that reminded of Don Giovanni’s Commendatore scene.
Beethoven/Shostakovich, Violin Sonata no. 7/Viola Sonata, Julian Rachlin/Itamar Golan
Tim Page, NSO Musicians Dampen 'Pastorale,' Soar on 'Firebird' (Washington Post, April 21)
Charles T. Downey, DCist Goes to the Symphony (DCist.com, April 21)
T. L. Ponick, Violinist Rachlin springs on Prokofiev (Washington Times, April 22)