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Mesmeric Gallicthumpery – The Boston Musical Intelligencer – Lyric Say

Conductor Klaus Mäkelä (Robert Torres photograph)

Think about being in a packed Symphony Corridor, listening to a few beloved masterpieces performed by a terrific orchestra, a superb, very younger competitors winner, and a conductor (additionally very younger), who has been wanted by an enormous variety of prestigious orchestras. The most popular of sizzling tickets.  This  Sunday evening arrived courtesy of the Movie star Sequence of Boston, seemingly in its  finest 12 months ever. Recent from giving an all-Stravinsky program at Carnegie Corridor the evening earlier than, the Orchestre de Paris made a wonderful impression. It was laborious to discern who within the viewers got here to take a look at the conductor and who was curious concerning the soloist who had made such a splash just some weeks in the past with the BSO. And, sure, Yunchan Lim was the youngest-ever winner of the Van Cliburn Competitors.

From the atmospheric opening of Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun, with its attractive flute solo arriving out of nowhere, to the final notes of Stravinsky’s Firebird, this was orchestral enjoying at its most interesting and most compelling. Within the repertoire we heard, nobody might gainsay this band. Why? Certainly a lot of the credit score for a night that was thrilling from starting to finish belongs to the Finnish conductor, Klaus Mäkelä, the music director of Orchestre de Paris since 2021, in addition to Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic since 2020 and Creative Accomplice and Chief Conductor-Designate of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. A number of media shops heralded his vertiginous rise to superstardom, and his now-famous six-month love affair with pianist Yuja Wang positioned him firmly within the public’s consciousness, so I felt extra-skeptical as I watched this nattily dressed, elegantly coiffed younger man transfer nearly as balletically because the music he led. I’ve at all times disliked how folks rave about how a lot they loved watching a conductor, however Mäkelä, confirmed as a lot gracefulness as any conductor I’ve ever witnessed. What an uncanny connection between his lissome gestures and the beautiful sonorities which poured forth in response.

Yunchan Lim

Debussy’s Prelude a l’aprés-midi d’un faune got here as a revelation―even after I had thought I by no means cared to listen to this brief piece once more—particularly due to my recollections of the extraordinary flute artistry of Doriot Anthony Dwyer, but the inevitable Gallic atmospheres completely seduced and stayed with me. The 2 harps might have projected extra, however in any other case it sounded elegant. 

The superb Yunchan Lim appears to bowl over everybody who hears him, but he’s considerate and modest. In an interview with the NY Instances, he quipped, “It’s a bit hard to define myself as an artist. I’m like the universe before the Big Bang. I’m still in the learning stage. I’d like to be a musician with infinite possibilities.” Modesty apart, his volcanic, sensational, dazzling colours and dynamics in Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto mesmerized us. As soon as once more, we witnessed a warhorse reworked into an expression of awe.

The gang exploded. How humorous to see folks means up on the second balcony, then the primary balcony, lastly the packed downstairs– all erupt; most of them have been cheering wildly whereas taking pictures on their iPhones. Lim gave a stunning encore, which appeared, oddly excellent, Chopin’s heart-on-sleeve Étude Op. 10, No. 3. For this, the entire night would have been price it. However extra glories of orchestral enjoying—and conducting―lay in retailer.

After intermission Firebird lofted greater and better—one stupendous episode after one other. These gamers mastered all of the particular strategies which Stravinsky indicated, within the service of relentless rhythmic fervor which simply annihilated all doubts. We might fairly think about ourselves transported to the premier on the Palais Garnier in 1910. Proust, Bernhardt, Coctaeu, Gide, and Ravel would have felt at residence within the firm of those ambassadors of French tradition.

Susan Miron is a e-book critic, essayist, and harpist. She writes about classical music and books for The Arts Fuse. Her final two CDs featured her transcriptions of keyboard music of Domenico Scarlatti.

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