MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

All-Tchaikovsky Night, and a Tribute to the Late Bramwell Tovey

The New York Philharmonic with cellist Zlatomir Fung and Leonard Slatkin; photo (c) Jorge Gustavo Elias

The conductor for last night’s Bravo Vail concert with the New York Philharmonic was to have been the much-loved Bramwell Tovey, who passed away on July 12. Leonard Slatkin, who took his place on the podium, paid tribute with a deeply felt interpretation of “Nimrod” from Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” as the encore. Slatkin was completely in his element for this sold-out, all-Tchaikovsky concert — and not just for the blockbuster works (the “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture” and Fifth Symphony) but the “Rococo Variations” they framed. You could feel him drawing on his vast experience with and love for this music to shape a dramatic arc that overwhelmed with its intensity in both R&J and the Fifth. But he was also brought out Tchaikovsky’s neoclassical finesse in the Variations, which showcased the refined, poetic musicianship of cello soloist Zlatomir Fung.

Filed under: Bravo! Vail Music Festival, conductors, Tchaikovsky

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