Robert Trevino, just 35 when this sweeping Beethoven symphony cycle was recorded in late 2019, negotiates every young conductor’s rite of passage with fluency and flair on his ambitious debut outing on Ondine.
Captured live during Trevino’s first season at the helm of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and recorded (and presented here) in numerical sequence, it heralds the young American baton-wielder as a Beethovenian of considerable abilities. The dominant accent is lyrical and fluid with zesty tempi, characterful playful and a pointedly employed penchant for the dramatic. Throughout, Trevino’s interpretative choices discretely accommodate lessons learned from his predecessors even while espousing an agreeable freshness all their own.
Not everything is perfect as Trevino attempts to strike a balance between the competing influences of his one-time teacher, David Zinman, and adopted guru Daniel Barenboim with glancing allusions to readings by the likes of Michael Tilson Thomas, Roger Norrington, Rafael Kubelík and several others.
That contest makes itself felt at the very beginning, the First Symphony constantly surging forward even as Trevino reins it in as if testing the waters of the...