January 12, 2013 Leave a comment
Vassily Sinaisky is not exactly a household name, and until last night, I’d never seen him conduct. The Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre certainly looks the way you’d imagine a maestro to look: tall(ish), sporting white tie and tails (no pajama jacket here), with wavy grey hair brushed up to maximum height. In practice, he was more gracious than flashy. His gestures were generic, but easy to follow, and he used them well-enough to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a solid evening of music.
The Planets by Gustav Holst was the big work for the evening, and in general, Mr. Sinaisky’s interpretation seemed to focus on the big picture without worrying too much about details. This worked better in grander movements like “Mars,” “Jupiter,” and “Uranus,” which were full of momentum, with climaxes growing slowly, naturally, and with a sense of portentous inevitability. Calmer movements sounded pretty enough, but Mr. Sinaisky seemed content with slow and quiet and not much else — “Neptune, the Mystic” was more like “Neptune, the casual,” with the only sense of mystery coming from off-stage placement of the Pacific Chorale’s women behind the audience.
Fortunately for Mr. Sinaisky, the orchestra sounded very good in all of the movements. Fortunate too that Walt Disney Concert Hall’s acoustics allow for as much clarity as it does. Notable individual contributions were many, with my favorites coming from Jim Miller on tenor tuba, Nathan Cole playing as concertmaster, and Andrew Bain on horn.