Schumann’s “Spring” symphony is an exciting work full of color and darkness that last appeared on the Symphony Hall stage under the baton of guest conductor Jun Märkl in 2017. On Thursday, Spano led an ASO in top form, but the lustrous strings stood out: Strident, forceful violins opened the third movement with suitable, and thrilling, aggression. The performance was not without a few missteps – in the opening fanfare blast that begins the symphony, the brass section sounded less than surefooted.
The “Egmont” Overture, which opened the concert, began in a storm, and the ASO musicians attacked the initial melodic figure with seek-shelter uninhibitedness. The turbulence had a sunny undercurrent, though, and throughout the piece, glimmering harmonies emerged both in quiet meditation and in roaring passages. Composed as the incidental music to a performance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Egmont” play, Beethoven crammed a range of emotions into the pithy, 9-minute piece. The music is evocative and captivating, and Spano and the ASO played up all the emotional changes to sublime effect.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Hope, David Finckel and Wu Han
Additional performance at 8 p.m. tonight. $22-$98. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-5000, atlantasymphony.org.
7 p.m., March 30. $44-74. Savannah Music Festival. Lucas Theatre for the Arts, 32 Abercorn St., Savannah. 912-525-5040, lucastheatre.com