Hits Program No. 15
3 stars –
Hilbert Circle Theatre; April 16-17.
Symphony Orchestra's Symphonic Hits continues to intermingle with its Classical
Series with the hope of attracting more patrons with more symphonic warhorses.
Dvorak's ever popular "New World" Symphony, No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (1893) and
Mozart's lesser "hit" but greater music, his Piano Concerto No 23 in A, K.488,
both filled the bill last Friday, with guest conductor, Krzysztof Urbanski and
guest pianist Dejan Lazic. K.488 conveys an iridescence underlaid by a
wistfulness, showing Wolfgang at his peak prowess, coming just before his even
more profound 24th Concerto and his opera, The Marriage of Figaro. The young Croatian keyboardist joined with the
young Polish conductor in a reading nicely nuanced as regards dynamics, but
sailing through with nearly unvarying tempos. Lazic did not use Mozart's own
cadenza in the first movement, both unusual and less satisfying. His keyboard touch,
though articulately controlled, emerged too softly in many places to be clearly
heard, impressing far less than in his May 2008 appearance here. The Dvorak
continued Urbanski's penchant for too steady a tempo — more revealing of
a lack of ensemble precision as premature entrances and ragged phrase endings
tended to sprinkle throughout the four movements. In the famous "Largo"
movement, the strings gave us a special sheen, as well as splendid flute work
by Karen Moratz — the movement's highlights in this performance. The
program began with an apropos Polish work, the Little Suite by Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994), with four,
rhythmic-driven, connected sections.