Mostly Mozart (11): Meandering with a Purpose from an Audience Favorite

27/08/2013

 Mostly Mozart (11) Mozart, Tchaikovsky: Joshua Bell (violin), Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Louis Langrée (conductor), Avery  Fisher Hall, New York City. 20.8.2013 (DS)

Joshua Bell Photo:  Eric Kabik

Joshua Bell
Photo: Eric Kabik

 

Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C major, K. 425 (“Linz”) (1783)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major (1878)

 Being the last week of Mostly Mozart, it seemed only fitting that one concert I would attend throughout the festival would, in fact, involve the playing of some Mozart. (This year’s festival has been dedicated to Beethoven and many others, quite frankly.) Music Director, Louis Langrée led the festival orchestra in Mozart’s “Linz” symphony, and after a bumpy start in the opening Adagio, everything fell into a pleasant easy flow. Langrée brought out the regal qualities of this symphony with unabashed gusto: the Andante held together in a taught but well-paced tempo—sturdy yet flexible—and the Presto was vigorous while attentive to all the unusual meanderings that Mozart invented for this final movement.

Speaking of meanderings, the second half moved away from Mozart and landed on Tchaikovsky, and New York concert heavyweight Joshua Bell in the violin concerto. With an audience ready to clap for him even before the first note sounded, Bell hit the ground running. That’s not to say it was played overly fast. But rather, he hit up his forms of interpretation with aplomb and with clarity of creative power, making the performance both exciting and thought provoking. Some ideas worked, some didn’t. (I found the waves of sudden tempi “push-pulls” sometimes a bit extreme even for Tchaikovsky. Perhaps Bell had recently watched Ken Russell’s film, The Music Lovers—in which case, who can blame him?) The runs were veritable furies of expression, though a bit speed-trapped and whiplash-prone. In the slow second movement, Bell ultimately glowed forth, lovingly wrapping himself around the melody.

Bell gets an “A” for hard work, but an extra-credit “A-plus” for a short and perfectly relaxed encore—after all, he’d made it through this demanding concerto twice in two days—Tchaikovsky’s sweet Melodie for violin and orchestra.

Daniele Sahr

Print Friendly

Comments

Comments are closed.

Recent Reviews

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! The Piccadilly Chamber Music Series in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera and More in Buenos Aires in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Gloucester Choral Society’s Hubert Parry’s Centenary Celebrations in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Spend a Penny for Grange Park Opera’s Lavatorium Rotundum __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018 Lucerne Summer Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! Leeds Lieder’s Forthcoming Schubert Song Series in Leeds and Sheffield __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Ballet’s 2017 – 2018 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Contemporary Music from Manchester’s Psappha in 2017-18 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! I Musicanti’s Alexandra and the Russians at St Johns Smith Square in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov’s Return to London in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! St John’s Smith Square announces its 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Pierre Boulez Saal’s 2017/18 Season in Berlin __________________________________
  • UPDATED! The Glyndebourne Opera Cup and Glyndebourne in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Opera’s 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House Announces its 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • UPDATED! SOME OF OUR REVIEWERS CHOOSE THEIR ‘BEST OF 2017’ __________________________________
  • NEW! OMER MEIR WELLBER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • NEW! GREGOR TASSIE IN CONVERSATION WITH VALENTINA LISITSA __________________________________
  • NEW! Dénes Várjon Talks to Sebastian Smallshaw About Budapest’s Kamara.hu __________________________________
  • R.I.P. IN MEMORIAM – DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY (1962-2017) __________________________________
  • NEW! Ann Murray’s Masterclass at the V&A Part of Opera: Passion, Power and Politics __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Carly Paoli is ‘Singing My Dreams’ at the Cadogan Hall in February 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! A Composer Speaks Up for the Environment: An Interview with Margaret Brouwer __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Russian Ballet Icons Gala at the London Coliseum on 25 February __________________________________
  • NEW! Twelve Years of Celebrating Malcolm Arnold in Northampton __________________________________
  • NEW! What is the Critic’s Job? A Review of A. O. Scott’s Recent Book __________________________________
  • NEW! English Music Festival in Yorkshire Lifts the Lid Off an English Treasury __________________________________
  • NEW! A FULLY STAGED PILGRIM’S PROGRESS IN ORLEANS, MA __________________________________
  • NEW! JIŘÍ BĔLOHLÁVEK (1946-2017) AND THE CZECH CONDUCTING LEGACY __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month

    Search S&H