On Thursday, December 9th, 2010, the Orchestra of St. Luke's gave another very fine concert at Carnegie Hall, this time under the direction of Edo de Waart.
The program opened with a transparent, resonant reading of Franz Liszt's haunting, mysterious, and evocative late piano work, The Black Gondola -- which, in the brilliant, modernist orchestration by John Adams presented here, approached the quasi-Sibelian qualities of a late Romantic tone poem.
Following this, the extraordinary mezzo-soprano, Susan Graham joined the orchestra for a terrific performance of Alban Berg's arresting lyrical masterwork, Seven Early Songs. The ensemble, again, was here a model of clarity and precision, yet not failing to project the requisite ardent dynamism of this moving score. Graham is an exquisitely versatile and sensitive interpreter and soared here even as her voice sounded less lush and powerful than usual. (Graham was last heard in the concert hall in New York last June in a magnificent account of Ernest Chausson's lovely Poème de l'amour et de la mer with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Andrew Davis at Avery Fisher Hall.)
The concert closed with Felix Mendelssohn's melodious, elegant "Scottish" Symphony, here given in a characteristically balanced rendition but not devoid of the passionate inflections which course through this beautiful work.
(The ensemble's previous appearance in New York, in late October, was also reviewed here.)