Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Oregonian: 'James DePreist makes it personal with the Oregon Symphony'

[The Firebird Suite; The Rite of Spring; Igor Stravinsky; James DePreist, Conductor; Delos DE 3278]
April 19, 2009
James DePreist returned to the Oregon Symphony over the weekend with a musical program shot through with personal associations. The 72-year-old former music director of the orchestra - his title of laureate conductor expired last year - led three works at Schnitzer Hall: Christopher Theofanidis' 'Rainbow Body,' which he conducted in New York recently; Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, a longtime colleague and friend of DePreist's; and the First Symphony of Jean Sibelius, a composer who greatly admired DePreist's aunt, the singer Marian Anderson.”

DePreist and Ohlsson go back a long way. Since meeting in Helsinki years ago, they have developed a bond on stages around the world. At Saturday's performance of Beethoven's lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, they shared the same spacious approach to the music.” “With minimalist movements from DePreist, we heard incisive and full-bodied playing in the surging music. Concertmaster Jun Iwasaki stepped up his role as string leader with vigorous and rhythmic assistance. Principal trumpet Jeffrey Work, principal trombone Aaron LaVere and their sections superimposed color and clout on the performance.” [James DePreist (b. 1936) is profiled at

No comments: