Photo: Steve J Sherman
Due to visa-processing issues which made it impossible for Alexander Shelley to appear, Andrew Litton stepped in at short notice this month for three performances with the Seattle Symphony, which as luck would have it, fell in the one available period in his autumn diary.
The programme included the world premiere of Antiphaser, a concerto for electric violin and orchestra by the Mexican composer Enrico Chapela, performed by Pekka Kuusisto. Not exactly a straightforward jump-in therefore! The remainder of the programme was made up of music by Debussy and Ravel: La mer, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and La valse.
Andrew rose to the occasion of course, as always, and the performances were very well received in Benaroya Hall and by the critics:
“Litton elicited consistently inspired playing in the two Debussy works that occupied the second half of the program. Following Antiphaser’s at times apocalyptic soundscape, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune served as a serene chaser filled with the “sun-consumed” delights envisioned in Mallarmé’s poem. Like a film’s establishing shot, Demarre McGill’s gorgeously phrased introductory flute solo opened the door into Debussy’s encompassing dreamscape. Litton’s gentle, patient pacing and exquisite textural balancing suggested not so much an erotic fantasy enjoyed by the faun as a blissful vision of biophilia as described by the late Edward O. Wilson.” – Classical Voice North America
“Litton provided exciting, sculpted performances of Debussy and Ravel”. “Litton’s interpretation of La Mer rippled with tension”. “I hope he comes back.” – Seen and Heard International