I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Maestra Falletta this weekend. Falletta has been in Seattle this past week for a series of three concerts with the Seattle Symphony. The concerts have been a compelling mix of the seldom heard, a dark showpiece, and a deeply moving requiem by the understated Gabriel Faure. The chamber version of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem has closed out each of the concerts. The chamber version, scored for chorus, one violin, minimal violas, cellos, and basses, horns, harp, and organ is the austere predecessor of the more popular version for full orchestra and chorus. With only one violin, the color of the instrumental writing is much darker. The violas, led by Arie Schachter, create a lugubrious foundation that is both sad and comforting. The first half was marked by a full-throttle performance of Ravel’s La Valse and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.1.
During my conversation with Falletta, I couldn’t help but walk away feeling like she is a musician possessed by great joy in not only making music, but helping people genuinely value, feel, and experience serious music. We talked about her impressions of the Seattle Symphony, what considerations go into concert programs, the importance of the Buffalo Philharmonic as a professional orchestra in a city decimated by the collapse of the steel and manufacturing industry in the United States, and how music is innate to our existence as people. Toward the end of the interview, we also chatted briefly about her Grammy Award winning recording of Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan.
You can watch the video after the jump.