The Chicago Tribune reviews DSO conductor Jaap van Zweden’s last-minute-substitute performance:
One of these days the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will actually invite Jaap van Zweden into Symphony Center through the front door. The last time we heard the remarkable Dutchman conduct the orchestra was in October when he was brought in to replace Riccardo Chailly. Thursday night, on barely two weeks’ notice, he subbed for the indisposed Semyon Bychkov.
Once again he scored a major success, lifting the performances well beyond the ordinary, infusing the entire orchestra with his intensity, spontaneity and penetrating musical vision.
The Chicago Sun-Times was almost as enthusiastic:
The real opportunity to see what Van Zweden is up to came with Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. You could see that his intellectual work with a piece drives his highly physical conducting. Having come late to the podium (he was concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), he has more time to become authoritative with Brahms. But even now you could hear how he took the piece apart and rebuilt it, instrumental section by section, especially in the strings. And how he called for long lines of music against sometimes intentionally jagged rhythms. He’s a keeper.
Yes, but he’s our keeper, right?