Aso Candidate A Man In Control

ROUTE 2 A Weekly journey through Anne Arundel County

May 01, 1991|By Phil Greenfield

Though unable to review Saturday evening's Annapolis Symphony Orchestra concert due to a musical commitment of my own, a bit of Route 2 pontificating seems appropriate nonetheless.

While I was not privy to guest conductor Gary Schneider's account of Dmitri Shostakovich's searing Fifth Symphony, I did get to hear his readings of Ravel's Piano Concerto (with soloist David Buechner) and Beethoven's Overture to"Fidelio" at the ASO's Saturday afternoon rehearsal.

Put simply, Schneider -- the 34-year-old founder of New Jersey's Hudson Chamber Symphony -- is a man in control. He knows what he wants, conveys what he wants and, I suspect, more often than not, gets what he wants.

The Ravel concerto was most impressive in rehearsal with the orchestra in alert, ingratiating form. With Schneider at the helm, the players seemed thoroughly prepared for the ticklish rhythmic and technical demands of the piece. Pianist David Buechner was wonderfully attuned to the coloristic jazziness of Ravel's solo writing.

The acoustical panels rustled up by Schneider from the Anne Arundel County Board of Education did indeed push a greater quantity of sound out to the audience, thus combating to some extent the sonic gremlins that afflict Maryland Hall.

Conclusion? When the selection committee retires to its smoke-filled room to anoint Peter Bay's successor to the ASO directorship, Gary Schneider's name will be mentioned. And not in passing.

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