Tchaikovsky and Bruckner
February 2-3 | 2017
Jaap van Zweden conducts
Alisa Weilerstein cello
Variations on a Rococo Theme
Symphony No. 7
"Phenomenon*" Alisa Weilerstein returns to perform Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations. Maestro van Zweden conducts the deeply affecting and poignant Bruckner Symphony No. 7.
- Jaap van Zweden Returns to the Dallas Symphony for a Triumphant Bruckner 7th Symphony
by Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
The vast, sprawling symphonies of Anton Bruckner don't give up their secrets easily. Amid quivering string tremolos, thematic fragments rise and fall in sequences. Sometimes they coalesce into genuine themes. Elsewhere heartfelt melodies seem to come out of nowhere.
Masses of brasses trumpet dotted-rhythm fanfare-like ideas. Tempos shift abruptly, sometimes with surprising rests between sections.
Tying all this into a coherent narrative requires a conductor—and, indeed, orchestra—of rather special sophistication. And this music composed by an organist accustomed to big-church reverberation needs a pretty "live" concert hall for best effect.
One thinks of the Vienna and Berlin philharmonics, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw and (minus the reverberation) the Chicago Symphony as quintessential Bruckner orchestras. The Dallas Symphony wouldn't immediately come to mind.
Between former principal guest conductor Claus Peter Flor and current music director Jaap van Zweden, both steeped in Brucknerian experience, our orchestra actually has had a good deal of practice with the 19th-century Austrian composer--and produced some memorable performances. The spacious acoustics of the Meyerson Symphony Center make it one of the best places anywhere to hear the composer's symphonies.