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February 24, 2012


Tom Gossard

Speaking of Ansermet, listening to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet is a remarkable, if not stupendous, experience. At the time he recorded it with l'OSR, conductor, orchestra, and Decca were making superb recordings Prokofiev's 5th Symphony and Violin Concertos with Ruggero Ricci are similarly excellent, and the 5th is one of the best to be had *if* you prefer a lithe, rhythmically and metrically precise, lyrically phrased an elegantly played a tempo. You can tell I'm an Ansermet and Dutoit fan. What brilliance and discerning intelligence!

Tom Gossard

Dutoit learned well from his mentor Ernest Ansermet. In such compositions as La Mer, the "family resemblance" is unmistakeable. On that foundation, happily, Dutoit builds his own house, which is marvelous and formidable in its own right. Thank goodness we have still have such conductors which can represent the tradition of the great French orchestras, with added North American touch. The Phil can play masterfully and readily adapt to Dutoit's sonic and interpretive style. This lends further testimony to the strength and wisdom of Esa-Pekka Salonen to cultivate such flexibility!


We saw Saturday's show, and the Prokofiev was as good as music making gets.

"The orchestra seemed to catch fire in this 45-minute performance, playing with razor-sharp precision when called for and with elegant sweep the rest of the time. The entire performance was exhilarating. Along the way, David Buck, flute; Michelle Zukovsky, clarinet; Ben Hong, cello; and James Rotter on saxophone delivered polished solos."


That night Dutoit took bows with the band.

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