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  1. Geoffrey Clow
    March 3, 2015 @ 7:51 am

    We have a wealth of helpful insight on this program — Eric Bromberger notes, Nuvi Mehta preview, and concert reviews from you and James Chute. Everyone finds structural issues with both the Mozart PC 25 and the Schubert 9th. Even performers ignored the Mozart and disparaged the Schubert during much of the works’ history, we’re told. Yet, taken on their own terms, both can be satisfying concert pieces. James found Friday’s performance of the Mozart “immensely satisfying”, while Sunday’s performance of the Schubert redeemed that work for you.

    The works’ peculiar traits can be taken as either shortcomings or virtues. As James says of the Mozart, it “seems like a symphony with piano accompaniment rather than a concerto.” That is, soloist and orchestra are in collaboration rather than in competition, and there is little drama or virtuosity. On the other hand, the ensemble and instrument writing is beautiful, and watching an instrumentalist of Goode’s ability interact with principals and sections is very entertaining, drama or no.

    I enjoyed your backhanded compliment that “Schubert avoided the rigors of development by spinning out new melodies with prodigious ease.” In his 9th, he tosses melodies around the orchestra like beach balls. Many different principals are featured; various wind sections take the lead, repeatedly; strings are relegated to support roles several times. For his part, Ling definitely kept the ball moving. In this case, it was all great fun, structure or no.

    For me, the combination of Mozart’s not-quite-a-concerto and Schubert’s not-quite-a-symphony was an effective program, and played to the strengths of the performers. Ling is cooperative and even deferential to his guest soloists, and Goode handled leadership opportunities in the ensemble-style piece exquisitely. On orchestral pieces, Ling strives to keep the audience entertained; in the Schubert, that approach was effective and appropriate. All told, the foibles of the pieces were handled well and they balanced out, for a delightful concert.

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