Arnaud Sussmann performs Tchaikovsky Concerto with Cristian Macelaru conducting the New World Symphony (Photo credit: Charlotte Lee)
Review: “New World Symphony, soloist prove elite status in Kravis show”
By Ken Keaton
Palm Beach Daily News
January 12, 2016
A South Florida treasure performed a program of masterworks at the Kravis Center on Monday night: the New World Symphony under conductor Cristian Macelaru with Arnaud Sussmann as soloist in the Pyotr Tchaikovsky violin concerto. The closing piece was Ludwig van Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony.
[The New World Symphony] are every bit as fine as expected. Glorious sound in each of the sections, amazing precision, magnificent soloists, a wide range of dynamic and timbral control; it’s surely Florida’s finest orchestra.
Both conductor and soloist are well into the beginnings of what will surely be prestigious careers. Sussmann has performed with orchestras across the globe, and is presenting a season of at least six different concertos and a variety of recital programs. Macelaru has been guest conductor with Chicago, Philadelphia and the Washington National Symphony, along with other major orchestras on three continents.
The Tchaikovsky concerto is the quintessential Romantic violin concerto — blazingly virtuosic but with achingly beautiful melodies to balance the fireworks. The heart is the slow movement, marked canzonetta (or little song) by the composer, and it contains some of the most beautiful melodies ever conceived.
Sussmann [showed] precise command no matter what the difficulties were, and subtle phrasing … to the lyrical passages, the soul of the work. Throughout, Macelaru and the New World Symphony fit their soloist like a glove.
The Beethoven is a work that it is impossible to hear without smiling. It was composed simultaneously with his 5th Symphony, that titanic struggle against fate. This work could hardly be more different. It is, indeed, Beethoven’s only truly programmatic work — a work that invokes extra-musical images; in this instance, time spent in the country. It brings images of country landscapes, singing birds and gentle breezes, country dancing and a violent storm. The concluding movement, after the storm, is just magical; it’s a combination of simplicity and glory only Beethoven could have created.
Macelaru and the New World Symphony have the spirit of this music. It was a beautiful, balanced warm performance, one that restored faith in mankind and our world. And that’s the magic of great music.