Ravel’s “Choreographic Symphony”
Kazem Abdullah is an American conductor (he hails from Indiana, studied at Tanglewood and Peabody), and was General-Musikdirektor of the Symphony Orchestra in Aachen, Germany from 2012 to 2017. Maestro Abdullah has also been to Oregon: About ten years ago he subbed for one of Carlos Kalmar’s concerts.
Based on the new recording (a live recording made during Aachen’s annual music festival), it would be great to have him back to conduct the Oregon Symphony, because Ravel’s “Symphonie choreographique”, Daphnis et Chloe, comes across as a ravishing tone-painting, as the Aachen strings mingle with the sinuous choruses (Aachen has four distinct choirs, and they are joined by the Salt Lake Vocal Artists). Abdullah holds all these energetic elements together, all the way to the rapturous finale. The conductor shares more about the music, and himself, in my downloadable conversation, posted on this page.