Music rises on a scale or ladder: Its base level is just the notes, and many time-beaters can manage that. The next level is sensuous beauty, and there are conductors who have specialized in making the music as aurally attractive as possible. But above that there is a level of emotional power, music that compels. And yet above that, there is the moment that some few conductors achieve, of what you might call spiritual reckoning, where not only your head and heart are engaged but opened up and you can hear something transcendent.
-- Richard Nilsen
(from a review, "Guest Conductor Plays Safe with Schubert,"
in The Arizona Republic, May 4, 2008)