Guerrero thrills in Cleveland

12.01.17
Giancarlo Guerrero

"Thanksgiving weekend at Severance Hall was a lot like the holiday itself: a chance to reconnect and to forge new bonds.

With the Cleveland Orchestra, guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero reminded listeners Friday why Tchaikovsky remains in permanent rotation, brought back a Copland classic, and supported organist Paul Jacobs in a stunning modern concerto. In short, as musical meals go, the orchestra's post-Thanksgiving feast hardly could have been heartier or more diverse.

Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony, is a pillar of the Cleveland Orchestra family, a relative rarely far removed and always welcome.

[...] Not so many years after the composer himself conducted the work here, Guerrero Friday put his own spin on [Copland's ‘El Salon Mexico'], paying keen attention to detail and savoring its roots in dance. In this, he enjoyed the full cooperation of the percussion and brass sections, as well as string sections fully in the spirit.

The reunion element of the program was with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and with Guerrero as the host, it did not disappoint...performance from memory was a delight across the spectrum.

Abundant lyricism and insightful phrasing made for a memorable Andantino, and the Scherzo in Guerrero's hands was at once charming and hard-hitting. But it was the Finale, predictably, that shone brightest. Between its adept handling of Guerrero's bold tempo and a striking level of dynamic contrast, the orchestra had a guaranteed winner on its hands, and succeeded once again in sending listeners home with much for which to be thankful."

Cleveland Plain Dealer
November 27, 2017
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"Guerrero led a performance of theatrical grandeur, with sensitive playing from all sections of the orchestra, from the opening brass fanfares to the blazing conclusion. Although Guerrero emphasized the dramatic, there were plenty of  moments of repose in which the orchestra was barely audible."

Bachtrack
November 25, 2017
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"The capacity crowd showed delight at the triple treat: a delightful new work, a masterful soloist, and an authoritative conductor...[In El Salon Mexico], Guerrero negotiated its metrical thickets with ease and assurance, encouraging the orchestra to play brightly, with maximum color and humor...Guerrero led [Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4] with confidence and flair and received a cheering ovation."

Seen And Heard International
November 27, 2017
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