Nielsen / Tchaikovsky, Violin Concertos, V. Frang, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, E.G. Jensen (Warner Classics, 2012)
Juraj Valčuha, Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI in Turin, chose lovely tempi in the Stravinsky, a piece that is a modern reworking of 18th-century music, usually considered the beginning of the composer's neoclassical period. The concertino, comprised of the principal string players, had a delicate, chamber music sound, featured prominently in the gently paced opening movement. The oboe solo lilted beautifully in the second movement, all guided by the confident gestures of Valčuha, albeit with some questionably violent accents insisted on here and there. The Tarantella was rollicking in its off-beat shifts, and the boisterous trombone solo in the Vivo movement was a hoot, the whole thing sounding like Baroque dance music hybridized with Offenbach.
Anne Midgette, Conductor Juraj Valcuha takes NSO program to a near-slog (Washington Post, February 6)
This concert repeats tonight and tomorrow, in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.