Michael Klier, Bachtrack, November 13, 2020
If I want to prepare for a review and I cannot find a work in my CD collection, the Internet almost always offers a replacement. I can even listen to largely unknown compositions there whenever I want. Almost all of the recordings, however, have such extensive flaws that I could not imagine that I could ever relax and get involved in an online concert. The Dutch concert halls have been closed for a few weeks now and my need for classical music leaves me no choice but to fall back on the constantly growing range of streams. To my great surprise, these concerts, which are broadcast in real time, are not only of good quality, but thanks to the interesting camera direction and interviews with the artists they are a really gripping substitute.
This is especially true for the concerts of the Philadelphia Orchestra. “Our world: now” is the season's motto of this orchestra from Pennsylvania, the American state whose tight election results in the local presidential elections had just caused a lot of tension. Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been chief conductor there since 2012. He is also one of the teachers of the Colombian conductor Lina Gonzalez-Granados, who has been under contract with his orchestra as a scholarship holder since last year. Under her warm and always committed conducting, the excellent wind soloists were able to shine in the wind serenade by Antonín Dvořák. Above all the oboist Philippe Tondre made an unforgettable impression at his first concert as solo oboist in this orchestra. His energetic playing and his flexible tone determined the overall sound of the serenade from the first minute. In addition, the three horns shone under solo horn player Jennifer Montone, which enriched the serenade intoxicatingly with their partly symphonic sound volume. Gonzalez-Granados confessed in the interview excerpt, which was edited at the end of the concert, that Dvořák's wind serenade was the first piece she had ever conducted, which is why it still means a lot to her.