The Many Sides of Dennis Russell Davies

Among several splendid interpretations offered so far this season by Kurt Masur’s revitalized New York Philharmonic, none shines more radiantly in memory than Beethoven s Pastoral Symphony under the dancing baton of the American maestro Dennis Russell Davies, This is not music in which the habitue expects revelations, nor did Dav ies impose any sell-conscious point of view. The glory layin the clarity, the lift, the grace, the vibrant poise. (And for listeners who hear with their eyes as well as their ears, the maestro’s stick technique—fleet, legible, and free of needless ornamentresembled a master’s calligraphy.) Besotted as this country remains with foreign pedigrees, Davies has yet to ignite his compatriots as his talent warrants. A friend and Dennis champion of liv ing composers, he has had most of his opportunities here as an unsung (if indispensable) operative called in for the launch of such highprofile premieres as William Bolcom’s McTeague and Philip Glass’s Orphee. This month, however, a tour by the Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, which Davies heads, gives a broader view of his musical horizons: the programs run from Beethoven and Brahms to Schnittke, Wuorinen, and Glass. In March there are thirteen ports of call: College Station and Texarkana, Texas; Helena, Arkansas; Joplin and Liberty, Missouri; Des Moines; Chicago; Muncie, Indiana; Toledo; Utica, New York; Somerville, New Jersey; New York City; and Hartford, Connecticut. (Call 212-580-5527 for dates and ticket information.)