Culture Watch: Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts French symphonies
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.
-- Mark Swed