September 28, 2010
We all hope you were able to join us for the season opening concerts this weekend! The music was superb, the audience was enthusiastic and enchantment was in the air.
LACO received a wonderful review in the LA Times by Rick Schultz.
Shultz writes …“In a program inspired by the theme of enchantment, [Julian] Kuerti confidently led Kahane’s band in works representing a broad stylistic range, from Haydn to Pierre Jalbert. Moreover, he and the orchestra proved superb collaborators for the evening’s star soloist, violinist Leila Josefowicz.
In the concert’s centerpiece, Josefowicz, also Canadian-born, gave an extraordinary performance of Prokofiev’s lyrical and rugged Violin Concerto No. 1. The great violinist Joseph Szigeti once noted that the concerto mixed “fairy-tale naiveté and daring savagery.” Josefowicz caught both qualities in this ethereal and gripping account. Throughout, Kuerti and orchestra remained sensitively tied to her warm-toned playing, making the melodically luxurious finale especially memorable.
The program opened with Mendelssohn’s Overture, Scherzo and Nocturne from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Kuerti, who was a violin soloist himself before he took up conducting, magically conveyed the composer’s fanciful conception. The jaunty Scherzo marvelously contrasted with a Nocturne appropriately slumbering (in the play, Oberon has ordered Puck to restore order while everyone sleeps) but never soporific.
After intermission came Jalbert’s “Les espaces infinis” (“The Infinite Spaces”), composed in 2001. Jalbert, an American who grew up in Vermont, was the orchestra’s composer-in-residence from 2002-05. His composition, illuminated here by concertmaster Margaret Batjer’s sweet tone, usually lasts 11 minutes. Kuerti’s interpretation clocked in at closer to nine, creating a more urgent effect. The music seems to be ever striving and searching. It’s Jalbert’s version of Charles Ives’ “Unanswered Question.” It is tonal, only slightly dissonant, and in Kuerti’s rendering beautifully balanced with an exquisite feeling for orchestral color.
Read the full review at latimes.com.
For another wonderful perspective, read Newbie Blogger David Garcia’s review of the concert
We’d love to hear what you thought – tell us in the comments section! And, we hope to see you at Discover Beethoven on November 6 at the Ambassador Auditorium!