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Culture Watch: Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts French symphonies

April 29, 2011 |  6:00 am

Salome "La Tragédie de Salome"

(ATMA Classique)

Next year, the high-spirited Yannick Nézet-Séguin, an ambitious 36-year-old French Canadian conductor, becomes music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. And it will be his job to right a legendary institution now dispirited and in bankruptcy.

His latest recording with his Montreal-based Orchestre Métropolitain, which he's headed for 11 years and put on the map, offers hope. Florent Schmitt's 1911 symphonic poem, "La Tragédie de Salome," a sensual score seldom heard outside of France, is given a luxuriously licentious performance. The disc also contains César Franck's Symphony in D Minor, which is almost over the top in its ingratiating urgency and winning big drama -- no bad thing for a work that is neither sensual nor seldom heard.


Talent, timing land Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Philadelphia Orchestra

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-- Mark Swed