November 17-20 | 2016
Ruth Reinhardt CONDUCTS
Francesco Piemontesi PIANO
Concerto for Orchestra
Piano Concerto No. 27
Symphony No. 4
Brahms's final symphony is rich in complexity - his most intense, emotionally charged and beautiful work. Francesco Piemontesi brings "dashing insouciance*" to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27.
Due to health reasons, Maestro Stanisław Skrowaczewski is regrettably unable to appear with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra this weekend. We are fortunate that DSO Assistant Conductor Ruth Reinhardt will lead the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in concerts on November 17, 18, 19 and 20.
- 20-something assistant conductor makes brilliant debut for Dallas Symphony Orchestra
“DSO assistant conductor Reinhardt makes a brilliant debut” – Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Few artistic experiences are as exciting as witnessing a brilliant debut by a young musician. It happened Thursday night at the Meyerson Symphony Center, when Ruth Reinhardt, assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, led authoritative and musically sophisticated performances of a program she wasn't even supposed to conduct.
The scheduled guest conductor, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, suffered a stroke Sunday. So Reinhardt, a 20-something German native trained at the Juilliard School, was tapped to prepare and lead a program including Witold Lutoslawski's complex Concerto for Orchestra. With gestures that always meant something, she delivered the goods Thursday night as if she'd been living with them for years. Repeat performances are highly recommended.
- Reinhardt Creates Excitement in Subbing Stand with DSO
by Wayne Lee Gay, Texas Classical Review
Stanisław Skrowaczewski cancelled his appearances with the Dallas Symphony this past weekend, leaving a substantial repertoire on the plate for the orchestra’s assistant conductor, Ruth Reinhardt. Thursday night at Meyerson Symphony Center, in the tradition of young assistant conductors called upon to fill in for ailing masters of the baton, Reinhardt, poured herself intensely into this stylistically varied agenda of works of Lutoslawski, Mozart, and Brahms.
Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra opened the evening. No light-hearted curtain raiser here. Holding this largely dark, musically demanding piece together may have been the most daunting task of the evening for Reinhardt, a German-born graduate of Juilliard.
Any work titled “Concerto for Orchestra” falls under the shadow of Bartok, of course, and Lutoslawski was clearly up to the task when he created this three-movement symphonic work in 1954. Still virtually unknown and working in the relative cultural isolation of a Communist Poland, he yet managed to integrate his earlier interest in Slavic folk music with a sophisticated command of mid-twentieth-century dissonance. Ironically, faced with the conflicting demands of a police state and the desire to reach an international audience, Lutoslawski managed to create one of the more successful and widely performed orchestral works of the second half of the twentieth century—a success attested to by the enthusiastic audience response Thursday evening.
Equally impressive beyond the sheer surface appeal of the work is Lutoslawski’s bold structural innovation, in which he creates a form that resembles the traditional concerto in its three movements but is miles from textbook symphony structure. The contrasting phrases and sections—sometimes violently primitive, sometimes disarmingly pastoral, even occasionally jazzy—progress with a subtle logic that bespeaks a genius at work.
As for the performance itself, the title clearly implies virtuosic demands on individual musicians as well as sections, which in turn places a heavy burden on the conductor who must manage this universe of sounds. While appropriately shepherding the orchestra through its many adventures, Reinhardt took her cue from the stormy opening passage, dominated by a throbbing tympani solo. This allowed Reinhardt to set a tone of muscular, sometimes risky music-making that she maintained throughout the evening.
The middle movement of this work exemplifies both the innovation of the piece as a whole and the demands on the performers. Here, the excruciatingly difficult perpetual motion figure in the strings was beautifully managed, giving way to radiant brass fanfare and a surprisingly quiet pizzicato close for the movement. Rather than the high energy blast one expects in traditional concerto form, that tiny plink from the basses provides the germ from which the finale flows to the controlled chaos of the closing passage.
Reinhardt had begun the work at a high energy level, and, though she might have paced with a little more caution, the excitement level of the closing section emerged intact.