The symphony, last heard from the stage under Donald Runnicles' leadership in 2015, starts with a sucker punch of sound from the orchestra. This perfectly executed, full-orchestra wallop, trailed by an immediate decrescendo, set the tone for a powerful, affecting and insightful performance. Abbado played up these dynamic juxtapositions. Next to musicians' soft-as-a-breath pianissimo, the fortes were thrillingly loud. He had the symphony musicians attacking each and every phrase; even more subdued passages flickered with intensity and energy.
The evening began with a chance to hear the strings, and only the strings, in Rossini’s short work. Abbado led the ASO’s maiden performance of the composition on Thursday, and while the string playing was light and playful, the melodic lines were supple and well-shaped, the brief string showcase felt a bit out of place with the rest of the program.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Roberto Abbado, Veronika Eberle
8 p.m. Nov. 8. Additional performance at 8 p.m. Nov. 10. $43-$108. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-5000, atlantasymphony.org.
AJC’s new podcast: accessAtlanta
Looking for things to do in and around Atlanta? We have lots of ideas, and we’ll be sharing them in a new weekly podcast, with new episodes debuting Thursday mornings.
In an episode from last spring, listen to Robert Spano talk about his career with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with AJC features reporter Bo Emerson. It is a revealing interview with the music director, whose career has spanned more than three decades.
>> accessAtlanta PODCAST: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Musical Director, Robert Spano
IN OTHER NEWS:
Top Atlanta festivals in November Enjoy the Decatur Wine Festival this month, which takes place Nov. 3. Take part in Cabbagetown 's biggest fall festival Chomp & Stomp Nov. 3 Native American Festival and Pow Wow takes place the first weekend of the month at Stone Mountain Park. The Butcher & Brew Fest will benefit the Atlanta Humane Society on Nov. 10. Get in the holiday spirit at the Atlanta Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station beginning Nov. 30.