Conductor And Soloist Try The Soft Sell With The TSO

Arthur Kaptainis, Musical Toronto

Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Juanjo Mena (conductor), Pekka Kuusisto (soloist) and The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at Roy Thomson Hall. 

Expectation and fulfillment: We get a bit of each every day, and giant helpings whenever an orchestra like the Toronto Symphony programs Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé as a complete ballet. This score is languorous and lavish in equal measure, and if the first of two performances in Roy Thomson Hall under the baton of Juanjo Mena was a little heavy on the languor, the emphatic moments had their properly fulfilling effect.

This was a technically accomplished account, with distinguished individual contributions, above all from the luminous flute of Nora Shulman in the Pantomime section of Part 3. Everywhere the soundscape was clear, if not always sensuous. There were added layers from the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, which perhaps could have played a larger role in the great climax of Daybreak.

Read the full review online.