Frankfurter Neue Presse/Taunnuszeitung, 17 March 2003
A brilliant performance by the prizewinner
Bad Homburg. The Bad Homburg Schlosskirche concert season came to a brilliant end last Friday. The prizewinner of the third conducting competition, Lisa Xanthopoulou, underlined her superlative musical qualities in the Milan Quartet Symphony by Mozart and the Chamber Symphony by Shostakovich. Using elegant gestures, she shaped the charming first movement of the Mozart symphony, spun out a gentle cantabile in the inner movement, and presented the finale as an energetic contrast. The Chamber Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich is a posthumous arrangement for string orchestra by Rudolf Barshai of the Russian master's eighth string quartet, who wrote his enthralling work as a memorial to the bomb victims of the Second World War in Dresden. Using effective and extremely precise gestures, Lisa Xanthopoulou conjured an energy-charged intensity from the Cologne Sinfonietta in the introductory largo, and then released the utmost power and vehemence in manifesting the destruction of the baroque city in the allegro. She unfolded the macabre elements of the grotesque three-four time in the allegretto with gentle insistence and sensitively modelled the oppressive, fearful atmosphere of the largo. The gloomy main tenor of the final movement mingled with the optimistic major harmonies, heralding hope for better times. Lisa Xanthopoulou gave masterly performances in Bad Homburg, and proved in the final concert, too, that she was more than worthy of winning the conducting competition.