Flamboyant flailings from Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu whip up bold Dallas Symphony performances

Dallas Morning News
by: Scott Cantrell

With Jaap van Zweden stepping down as Dallas Symphony Orchestra's music director at the end of this season to head the New York Philharmonic, guest conductors are getting special scrutiny.  Thursday night was the Finn Hannu Lintu, previously seen here in 2011. Establishing a flamboyant manner from the beginning of the Sibelius Finlandia, he flung and flailed arms widely, sometimes bounced on his feet, occasionally sprang a couple of inches off the podium.

The Big Tune in the middle of the Sibelius was warmly phrased, but -- no Nordic cool here -- outer sections were whipped into furious explosions of sound. Some of the big-gesture, big-sound approach persisted in the Dvorák Violin Concerto.

Hilary Hahn, soloist in the latter, supplied her own big, bold sound; technical wizardry, including laser-pinpointed pitches on high; and suave expression. But I wondered if even she didn't feel a bit pressured by the adjacent flailings and muscular orchestral sounds, bowing her double stops a little more gustily than necessary. An ovation yielded an elegantly delineated gigue from the Bach E major unaccompanied partita.

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