John Axelrod

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30 Jan 2012
Best of the Best
ABC de Sevilla


“Best of the best


I warned my friendly audience of small pre-concert lecture: if the performers rose to the occasion of the program, we could have the fortune to attend one of the best nights of the Symphony, not only of this season, but of many years . And of course they did. We must begin, necessarily, by John Axelrod (Houston, Texas, 1966): in the prime of life, is one of the largest and most charismatic guest conductors who have gone through the Maestranza. His work with the orchestra was perfect, and ROSS responded flawlessly. The program was extraordinary. He started with a work rarely lavished by Brahms: the "Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, Op 56 th" (1873). The work is perhaps not by Haydn, but by his pupil Pleyel… (the next is about the works and T. Barto).


But there was still the second part: the symphonic poem "Thus Spake Zarathustra" (1896), Richard Strauss, in eight "episodes" linked. The huge orchestral strength and intensity of the score always threaten to noise and confusion, but Axelrod got a clarity and definition such that he got that the "superior human Being, man, woman" ("Übermensch" is that, not just "Superman" ) prophesied by Nietzsche, we could listen with all his tenderness and hope. The musicians excited and delivered; the public, overwhelmed with wonder and joy. We don't remember, though we think, a performance at this level of our Orchestra: equal, maybe, but better, never.”

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