Wednesday, July 23, 2008

MOZART AT THE BOWL

Tonight's concert at the bowl was probably the weakest of the season so far... and a sorry choice for me to be finishing my season. A little Mozart goes a long way, particularly when none of the pieces on the program are the "best" of Mozart.

The Overture to La Clemenza was light; as well as forgettable. Conductor Andrew Davis was fine; perhaps the best conductor of the ones I've seen this summer from a technical standpoint. However, all the music was very restrained emotionally. I know some purists insist this was the way Mozart was meant to be played, but I disagree. His melodies ache for interpretation.

Mezzo soloist Isabel Leonard did the best job of the evening, particularly on Exutate Jubilate. Her voice was absolutely gorgeous. Perhaps her only flaw is that her low notes do not project well, but then who does in the Bowl.

Piano soloist Orion Weiss showed a few moments of sympathy in the 2nd movement of the Concerto No. 17, but the whole concert felt poorly programmed. It ran long, yet was unsatisfying. The crowd was weak as well, and they will be playing the same concert on Thursday night.
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