Fleisher to conduct Peabody Symphony this week, give benefit for BARCS in June
This week, he's in conducting mode -- he'll lead the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in a program of Beethoven, Brahms and Ravel Friday night at the conservatory.
And it's not too early to note that
I can't make Friday's Peabody Symphony concert (I'll be reviewing theater that night), so I stopped by for some of the rehearsal Thursday afternoon. I had hoped this was going to be closer to a dress rehearsal situation, affording an opportunity to hear Brahms' Symphony No. 2 all the way through. Instead, Fleisher devoted the first 90 minutes of the session to a single movement from that score (I couldn't stay for more, alas). It was instructive, affording much insight into Fleisher's thinking.
As a pianist, his recordings of the Brahms concertos are well known and highly prized for their technical mastery and expressive impact. From the podium, polish and sensitivity were likewise on his mind as he strove to get a tighter, more involved response from the students as they tackled the bracing finale of the Second Symphony. Fleisher did some particularly telling things with the broad, lyrical theme that warms up this closing movement, and he drove the coda along powerfully (taking full advantage of the two startling bits of silence that interrupt it).
The students are fortunate to be working with such a rare and insightful artist, to have the benefit of his long experience with living deeply inside the music of the masters.
PHOTO BY JOANNE SAVIO COURTESY OF PEABODY INSTITUTE