Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Hélène Grimaud in New York

“The evening got off to a dazzling start with Prokofiev’s Symphony #1, “Classical”, full of clarity and light in Maestro Heras-Casado’s interpretation. The orchestra sounded lovely, notably is the first movement’s passage of elegant violins playing over a bubbling bassoon motif. This exuberant Allegro ends suddenly, catching the audience off-guard.”

Oberon’s Grove

“Under the assured baton of Conductor Laureate Pablo Heras-Casado, OSL is perfectly at home in this uptight, tricky score. The violins have a velvety sheen as they trade galant quips in the festive first movement, dance elegant steps in the genteel Larghetto, or chase antics in the vivacious Moto vivace; they have a close-knit rapport. The woodwind section is in top form, each flute, oboe, and clarinet solo more sparkling than the last. The bassoons shine especially in the first movement’s staccato motor. Mr. Heras-Casado’s account is an exercise in arrival points, especially when they come as a surprise.”

Cadenza

“The concert started with Serge Prokofiev’s brisk and concise Symphony No. 1… Mr. Heras-Casado recognized the solid structure beneath this work’s display and led a performance that followed those clean lines precisely. That didn’t stop the strings and horns of the Orchestra from commenting, sometimes to ribald effect on the main structures of the work. Delicate, bobbing notes from the flute and clarinet, and a pizzicato section where the strings trade places with the agile motion of a bassoon are highlights of its first movement. The remainder had the same feel of pure logic, joyfully executed at a high technical standard.”

Superconductor

Pablo Heras-Casado is the Principal Guest Conductor of Teatro Real, Madrid, Director of the Granada Festival, Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, artist of harmonia mundi & Deutsche Grammophon, also records for Decca Classics and Sony Classical, and is Global Ambassador of Ayuda en Acción.

      

Photos: Fernando Sancho