Former Seattle Times classical-music critic and current freelancer Melinda Bargreen reports the following, from Southern California:
“The weather is balmy, the palm trees are swaying, and Seattle Symphony’s new music director is in Palm Springs – on a California tour with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
“Before he arrived in Seattle, Ludovic Morlot was the BSO’s assistant conductor (2004-07), and he maintains close ties with this Big Five orchestra. His rapport with the Bostonians was evident in an exciting concert Friday afternoon at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert (a neighboring community to Palm Springs).
“The Bostonians produced a big, bright sound in the McCallum, where the acoustical ambience leans more toward the crisply dry than the reverberant. With the revered pianist Richard Goode, Morlot and the orchestra gave a silky, flowing account of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 (K.503), but the big guns came into play in the Mahler Symphony No. 1 – a sonic spectacular in which the responsive and malleable orchestra gave Morlot everything he asked for, and then some. Impressive indeed!”