Notes from Philly weblog

Maestro in Waiting? Jurowski & Philadelphia?

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Vladimir Jurowski conducts
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Benedetto Lupo, piano
Verizon Hall
March 18-20

Sounds like Vladimir Jurowski’s convinced the Philadelphia Orchestra he’s the one- the new music director. The guest conductor’s program Thursday night was captivating. The Russian maestro who doesn’t smile on stage was given a speech before the music started. Jumping from the back row, violinist Jonathan Beiler thanked Jurowski, who’s guested for three previous seasons (this is his fourth). He called the Muscovite a favorite. He mentioned some 1,000 details their music making has involved. This is so special, Bieler said. The appreciation read quietly was emotion, almost embarrassing. But the praise held up once everyone delved into Brahms’ Tragic Overture all that intensity laced with flow.
The key to Jurowski’s magic was the Eroica Symphony. So many maestros sweep an audience off its feet with those Romantics. Beethoven shows what you’re made of. How clean are your thoughts. Jurowski made us sit up and sit still. Everything was noticeable: The first movement’s levels of loudness, keenly felt, keenly varied. The Funeral March that wasn’t pounced upon us but allowed to flow — so that when the flute slips in you really feel the solo. When music flows, is not unduly stretched or beaten, there is no end of difference in how wde feel about it. We aren’t manipulated.
Too many conductors rush us this way and that making their points. Juroswki makes his by expansion and discretion. Thursday’s Eroica did not pull the heartstrings. Beethoven kept us focused line by line and note by note.

At the concert’s heart, a beautiful surprise: Benedetto Lupo made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut playing Robert Schuman’s tender Piano Concerto in A Minor which requires delicacy, power and soul. If you been there you are doubtless in love with Benedetto Lupo too. href=”″>file0446


Written by Lesley Valdes

March 19, 2010 at 5:51 am

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