Powerful performances mark symphony's return
Two masterpieces in uncommonly decisive and characterful performances on Friday night provided a powerful resumption for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts.
Gianandrea Noseda was on the podium for the first of two weekends of concerts, this one also featuring cellist Enrico Dindo in his debut at Heinz Hall.
A former principal cellist of the La Scala Orchestra in Milan, Dindo made the transition to a solo career after winning the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1997.
The Italian cellist showed himself to be an artist of the highest caliber, with fabulous technique to convey all the nuances of his insightful interpretation of Dmitri Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 2.
Shostakovich titled his memoirs “Testimony,” which fits much of his compositional output's commentary on life in the Soviet Union. The Second Cello Concerto was written in 1966 for Mstislav Rostropovich, whose insights into the piece Dindo received in conversations with the legendary cellist.
Dindo must have had more than a dozen kinds of portamento, each with its own emotional orientation. His pizzicato playing was remarkable for depth of tone and variety of character. They served to create an unforgettable musical personality — by turns sullen or angry, indifferent or lighthearted.
Noseda led a comparably distinctive orchestral performance, often in stark contrast to the soloist's mood. The two horns at one point were wild in the best sense. For his part, Dindo was unfazed even by the unexpected — during a solo under a tambourine roll he needed to retune, but did it so smoothly that many people probably didn't notice.
After intermission Noseda led a propulsive account of Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 7 in D minor. The conductor's pacing was mainly brisk, not only in the angular and highly dramatic first movement but also in the Poco Adagio. The Scherzo had its share of waltz charm, but also plenty of forward drive. The finale began a little extra slowly, perhaps surprisingly but in tune with the symphony's contrast of brooding and extroverted (if not necessarily optimistic) elements.
This concert will be repeated at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Hall, Downtown. Admission is $20 to $35. Details: 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Review: New Music Ensemble presents 23 short pieces
- Jason Aldean headlines big country show at PNC Park
- Sinnett’s drumming shows ‘Change’ is a good thing
- Photo gallery: Jack White takes crowd at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE by storm
- Moondog’s owner the force behind Pittsburgh Blues Festival
- Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble letting music speak for itself
- Review: Buffett keeps faith with fans on ‘This One’s for You’ tour
- Country star Aldean still brings the heat at soggy PNC Park show