The Genuine Article
Dvorák from the
Lucerne Symphony Orchestra -
STEPHEN FRANCIS VASTA
'... I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing more of Gaffigan's work ...'
On the present evidence, the American James Gaffigan, winner of the 2004 Solti Conducting Competition, is a first-class technician — the Lucerne Symphony responds to him with warm, well-balanced sounds and excellent ensemble — who knows how to animate a singing phrase. And his choice of Dvořák's Sixth Symphony, rather than a chestnut like the G major or the New World, is refreshing, suggesting an intrepid programming sense.
Still, even at the fringes of the standard repertoire, it helps to have a thorough understanding of a composer's aesthetic, and, for all his musicality, Gaffigan isn't yet quite on Dvořák's wavelength.
Gaffigan plays to the first movement's 'symphonic' power, rather than to its more pastoral inclinations...
Copyright © 31 December 2014
Stephen Francis Vasta,
New York, USA