My series of interviews with the guest conductors taking the SSO podium continues with Vassily Sinaisky. Sinaisky wrapped up a series of four concerts with the SSO this weekend that paired Brahms’ Double Concerto for cello and violin and Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe.” This program is a departure, of sorts, for Sinaisky. In his previous engagements with the orchestra, Russian music has figured prominently on his programs. Of course, when I asked Sinaisky about this he didn’t see the program as a departure.
I caught up with Sinaisky immediately after the Friday night performance. I arrived a bit early at Benaroya Hall, and the SSO’s public relations manager kindly took me backstage and we watched in rapt attention the final ten minutes or so of “Daphnis et Chloe.” Even with Benaroya’s thick stage doors, you could feel the music vibrating through the floor and walls (how cool!)
Once Sinaisky composed himself, we chatted about the SSO, Russian conductors and non-Russian repertory, rehearsal methods, and record stores. We also talked about his ongoing Franz Schmidt symphony cycle with the Malmo Symphony for the Naxos label. When the final two disks are released this year, it will be only the second complete cycle every recorded of these Mahler and Bruckner inspired symphonies.