Wednesday’s (6/8) WABE radio (Atlanta) includes excerpts from Robert Spano’s recent interview with program host Lois Reitzes; Spano will conduct his final Atlanta Symphony performances as music director this weekend. Spano: “It’s four years ago now that I announced my departure…. I immediately knew … I wanted to say ‘auf Wiedersehen’ with Mahler’s Third Symphony, and it was just an intuitive leap on my part…. I realize what a perfect vehicle the symphony is for me to express my gratitude and my joy and my flood of memories of all the beauty we’ve been able to create here. The symphony is a real celebration of life…. I think that it’s so interesting that we talk about ‘masterpieces.’ … We have a core repertoire. And that is, on one hand, true, but on the other hand, none of that music is alive unless we re-engage it…. It is a fresh experience every time we perform a Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony or a Brahms’ First Symphony. That music is vital and alive, and so our tradition is really one that depends on our continual creative engagement…. Working with living composers fuels and feeds and informs our relationship to the music of the past in wonderful ways.”