It says right in the chorus that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a tale of woe. But according to conductor JoAnn Falletta, so was the war experience of Maurice Ravel, and that turmoil is found in his piece La Valse.
These two pieces, with their fascinating history and devastating stories, are the subject of this episode of Classically Speaking. Musical performances are by the Buffalo Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, and the Nashville Symphony.
While the full episode audio is above (and wherever you get your podcasts), there were parts of the interview that may not be in the episode, but are great insights into the trajectory of Falletta’s career.
As a guitarist, Falletta’s approach to a score is quite vertical – with the chord progression allowing her to shape the direction of a line.
Starting her career with the Women’s Philharmonic, Falletta found an entire library of repertoire that she didn’t learn in her studies at Juilliard. Not only did it expand her sound world, but it also left her learning scores without the ability to fall back on a recording for reference.
JoAnn Falletta will be joining a live panel of orchestral conductors on Monday, Aug. 17. Find more information here.
A transcript of this episode is available at the following link: CS-33-Transcript