Andrew Litton, conductor
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Philadelphia Orchestra

Litton conducted [the Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of] Tchaikovsky with extraordinary mastery of tempo changes and knowledge of the expressive power that can come from them. It's easy to let the big climaxes take care of themselves in this climax-prone symphony, but Litton made them even more powerful by putting the brakes on the tempo in ways so subtle as to border on subliminal, while telegraphing the escalating gravity of the moment.

— David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"...Luckily, guest conductor Andrew Litton gave a genuine performance (as opposed to a run-through) of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 that proved that the inevitable distractions of a semi-outdoor venue fade into the background in the face of something dynamic. Litton mapped out the brooding, tightly wound first movement with the analytic clarity of a Bach fugue and refused to let the bombastic final movement be a mere orchestral showpiece. The intractability he gave to the last movement's opening statement was terrifying. But that was only the launching pad for a dozen distinct tempos that turned the music into horrific vignettes from Stalinist Russia. So there is life beyond Tchaikovsky at these (Philadelphia Orchestra) Mann Center concerts. Or at least there should be."

— David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

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