Marco Brescia, AP Scala, March 25 2008
Would I have watched this broadcast, hadn't it been for conductor Kazushi Ono, who will officially be introduced to us tomorrow night for his first concert as Lyon's Principal Conductor? Almost certainly not. But curiosity took the better of me, and I couldn't wait til tomorrow (especially since I'm not familiar with the program). As a result of this sneak peak, I am more perplexed than anything else (this basically is not useful at all). There were two concerts, really, in this broadcast. The first one consisted of the first 5 pieces, and it was awful. The conduction was stiff, emotionless, almost military at times, and desperately slow and laborious at other moments. At that point, I was in a total despair (thinking he's supposed to stick in Lyon for several years). And then, there was the second concert. The great one. Nuances and finesse started to emerge in Rossini's Tarantella Napoletana, but really exploded afterward. "Largo al factotum", conduction-wise, rose to the level of, let's say, James Levine; the Pagagnini piece was also a success, and the last two Verdi pieces were superb - full of subtlety, life and energy. So here it is people: I still have absolutely no clue as to what to expect from Kazushi Ono.