John Axelrod and the Verdi Sinfonica at the Auditorium
John Axelrod, principal conductor of laVerdi Symphonic Orchestra (Orchestra Sinfonica Verdi), yesterday led the last repetition of the symphonic concert in which he conducted the fourth symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms. The American conductor, who was an assistant conductor to the great Leonard Bernstein, inherited from the Maestro the passion for all-around conducting: An expert interpreter of the American repertoire and contemporary music, as well as orchestral classic rock and pop pieces, Axelrod has also revealed himself to be a ‘great’ of the classic repertoire. Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, while certainly lesser in respect to the colossal Third and Fifth, was very well performed and the conductor seized the Beethovenian spirit, molding the excellent laVerdi in an accurate and authentic interpretation. Better still was the performance of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, one of the Hamburg composer’s masterpieces, where the immense orchestra as a whole paid very close attention to the different sonorous gradations of the work. The subtle equilibrium of the different timbres emerged with sweetness from the very first celebrated notes of the opening Allegro non troppo. Throughout the string section the level of playing was excellent, and numerous wind and brass soloists also obtained a high level of musicality. The Brahms symphony was recorded live for a CD that, along with the other three Brahms symphonies, will be released on the market soon. The long applause from a full concert hall was proof of the merit of this excellent conductor and of laVerdi that is continually becoming better and better. Axelrod will conduct the Orchestra Verdi again on February 14, 15 and 17in the music of Barber, Strauss, De Falla and Korsakov, with the violin soloist Luca Santaniello. Don’t miss it.