Beethoven, Symphony Nr. 8
Chopin, Piano Concerto Nr. 1
Scriabin, Poem of Ecstasy
<Orquesta Filarmonica de Santiago de Chile, 2001
Las Ultimas Noticias
The occasion of the most recent philharmonic concert was entrusted to Stefan Lano. In his compact figure and economic manner of conducting, devoid of expansive and unnecessary theatrics, is concealed an immense talent and power: a fact, which the orchestra understood well and to which they responded consummately. His interpretation of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony was an exquisite delicacy and one to which one would wish to return to enjoy again and again. In the initial movements, he opted for stressing melody over rhythm such that the first movement took us down a path of overwhelmingly beautiful phrases while the second, with viril gentleness, avoided the oft-heard coarseness of the insistent metronome recalled here by Beethoven. In the Allegro vivace finale, Maestro Lano emphasized the vivace with a fast tempo, which lifted the symphony to a magnificent and agile end with notably daring playing from the strings.
... supporting the beautiful performance of Muza Rubackyte in Chopin's Piano Concerto Nr. 1 was the attentive baton of Lano who succeeded in contradicting the common sub-valuation of Chopin's orchestral accompaniments.
Certainly, Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy is less popular than the other works on the program. But this does not justify that a portion of the public could not deign to listen to this interesting work after the intermission. Those who did remain witnessed how Stefan Lano presented a gala featuring his brilliant and abundant stick technique. This work, with its exuberant orchestration and multi-sectionalism, requiring one smooth transition after another, demands nothing less than the conducting intelligence and fluidity, which Lano rendered with sovereignty.
Jaime Torres Gómez
The Philharmonic Concert this past Saturday continues the successful 'experiment' of dedicating this second of the weekend's concerts to a younger audience. And what a happy coincidence that, in front of this young audience was the distinguished North American conductor, Stefan Lano, well remembered here for his brilliant reading of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra last season, together with the Lithuanian pianist, Muza Rubackyte.
The program opened with a most interesting version of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony; a work seldom performed here. In this era of compact discs, we all tend to compare one reading to another and thus seldom come to a concert with a conceptual tabula rasa. Stefan Lano has a vision of Beethoven of such clarity of design and lucidity of rhythm that, adding to this his rare vitality, one forgets the many versions one might have brought to the theater a priori. In the course of the four movements, Lano uncovers aspects of Beethoven seldom to be encountered. And he does this in such a fashion as to capture the public and pull them into the frenetic design of the partitur of the genius from Bonn. Result: festive and prolonged applause for conductor and orchestra.
(...) After the intermission, we heard a powerful performance of Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy, a work of much complexity influenced by the various currents of musical idioms from the turn of the 19th century and in which one can appreciate the presence of a Wagner, Debussy, Schonberg and Stravinsky. This exquisite and dangerous fusion of styles is a trial by fire for any conductor who would attempt it and yet, one could observe how Lano was master of every element. He obtained optimal results from the Chilean musicians and I had the feeling that in addition to an exceptional concert, the public was being given a lesson in conducting. What remains most vividly in memory was the rhythmic and dynamic plasticity; the expert handling of melodic and harmonic turns; the manipulation of so many diverse elements from beginning to end such that, at the end, the young audience rose from their seats in ecstatic applause.