Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4
March 8-11 | 2018
Fabio Luisi CONDUCTS
Lise de la Salle PIANO
Piano Concerto No. 4
Lise de la Salle, internationally celebrated French pianist, performs the most poetic of Beethoven’s piano concertos.
Stay after the concerts on March 8-11 to meet the musicians! We'll have a cash bar on the east side of the lobby near the Kelly Panels, and you'll get the chance to meet some of the musicians and talk about the performance.
“The exhilaration didn’t let up for a second until her hands came off the keyboard and everyone could finally come up for air.” Washington Post
- Talking Beethoven With Dallas Symphony Orchestra Guest Lise de la Salle
by Eve Hill-Agnus, D Magazine
French pianist Lise de la Salle won recognition at age 16 for her Bach and Liszt recordings. She had, seven years before, played a live broadcast on Radio France as a nine-year-old. By the age of 20, she’d earned more acclaim for recordings of Liszt, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich that showcased a remarkably sensitive and precise style. De la Salle, now 29, will be the guest artist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s four performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, a program that also includes Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. It runs today through Sunday.
This guest appearance also represents a return to collaboration with Italian-born guest conductor Fabio Luisi, with whom de la Salle performed at the London Symphony Orchestra. Luisi invited de la Salle to be the first artist in residence for the Zurich Opera, where she recorded the complete works of Rachmaninoff for piano and orchestra. Their decade of collaboration, encompassing Beethoven, Chopin, and Saint-Saens as well, have spanned three of five continents, she says, laughing.
As for lovers of Beethoven, the Piano Concerto No. 4 has what de la Salle describes as “that deep inner energy and love of life that you always have in his music.” Pianist Mitsuko Uchida once spoke in an interview of the fourth concerto’s “unbelievable spirituality,” a search for the light. “Spirituality with a very concrete, a very grounded energy for, and in, and towards life,” de la Salle chimes in.
“That first chord of G major, and this tonality of G major [in general], it’s full of life. It has a certain peace in it,” she says of the concerto’s striking first notes. The orchestra picks up and mimics the theme almost immediately, but those notes set up a powerful dynamic between piano and orchestra.
“I try not to think too much. Each time I go on stage, all the thinking, all the brain work is supposed to have been done, to be clear. And so, what I try to do is to enter that world of music, where you don’t really have to think. […] I think lots of artists these days are giving themselves a little bit too much importance. But at the end of the day, we are just a link between the composer and the audience, the people we are playing it for. I’m with both sides: I’m with the composer and the music; and on the other side, I am with the audience. I can deliver to the audience, and there is the feedback and the emotion, and you share that.”
“I remember Dallas having a great hall, supportive and caring,” she adds.
De la Salle’s primary technical concern is always clarity. “I want my music to be clear and understandable. And a good reflection of what the composer wanted,” she says.
- Could Fabio Luisi be the Dallas Symphony's Next Music Director?
by Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Could this be the next music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra?
That question kept running through my head Thursday night, as Fabio Luisi made one of the most compelling guest conductor appearances in recent memory. He led the DSO in a brilliant and elegantly detailed Strauss Ein Heldenleben, and was no less convincing in the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto – even if Lise de la Salle wasn't entirely persuasive as soloist.
I don't know who's in the running for the DSO job, or who's actually interested in it, although I have my guesses. If Luisi is interested, on the basis of Thursday's performances, at the Meyerson Symphony Center, he's a strong contender.
At age 59, the Italian conductor has an impressive résumé, including six seasons as principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. But would he give up any of his current titles – with Zurich Opera, Danish National Symphony and, impending, Florence's Maggio Musicale – to come to Dallas?
Ein Heldenleben is Strauss' musical self-portrait, surely at least half in jest. Our hero goes surging through the orchestra, only to be assaulted by cackling winds and moaning tuba – the critics. But then his wife, Pauline, inspires an extended violin solo, one of the showiest in the orchestral repertory. She's spectacularly mercurial, but the orchestra swells around her in lovey-dovey lushness.