Next up in the 2010 Repertoire Reports, one of our annual mainstay’s, Leonard Slatkin.
By one measure, Leonard seems to be slowing down this year- mere 91 works plus unlisted pops selections, compared to 121 2008 and 2009. One might be tempted to think that he’s taking it a bit easier after well-publicised health problems. After all, most conductors areprone to slimming down their rep lists as their careers evolve beyond a certain “learn everything” stage.
But then you would look at what is included in that 91 works. A mountain of premieres by a wide range of mostly American leading composers, paired with rarely heard oddities like the Korngold Cello Concerto, Waxman Tristan Fantasy and Rozsa Spellbound Concerto.
There are also Leonard’s mainstays- Prokofiev 5 has been a mainstay of his repertoire, and his interpretation a mainstay of the industry, for over 30 years. This year he’s conducted all of Rachmaninoff’s symphonies, Isle of the Dead and much of the concertante music for piano. Amd, as always, Leonard’s commitment to the rich tradition of tonal American symphonists like Piston, Schuman, Barber and Copland is readily manifest. Where would the music of Piston and Schuman be without his advocacy?
Like Paavo, Leonard also seems to like to pick a work or two as party piece of the year- Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique was something he did with several orchestras in 2010.
As in past years, I think of the regularly checked Reports in this series, Leonard’s 2010 Repertoire is the list that would be the toughest for any of us “normal” conductors to step in and cover. I’ve conducted 45 of the 91 works n his list- whether I could learn the others in one year is a question I hesitate to answer.
2010 Repertoire Report
91-95. DSO Community Concert Series:
96-100. Home for the Holidays Pops Concerts
101.107: Orchestre National de Lyon: MUSIC OF BERNSTEIN AND GERSHWIN
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