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Uneven Night at the Milwaukee Symphony

Mar. 7, 2017
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The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert last Friday evening was a mixed bag, with good and not-so-good elements. Edo de Waart led the Overture from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto” and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”). 

I found the account of the Mozart overture to be polished and rather good, but nothing special. The performance of Beethoven’s Concerto in C Major for piano, violin, cello and orchestra featured Joseph Kalichstein on piano, Jaime Laredo on violin, and Sharon Robinson on cello. This established trio gave an uneven performance. Kalicshtein was most impressive, with a sure command of tone and rhythm. I wanted to hear more of him. There were some good stretches at times from Laredo and Robinson, but too often I found their playing to be unsatisfying and not well matched. In general, it was a messy rendition of a very tricky, experimental piece.

Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” symphony saved the concert. It didn’t take off for me until the second movement, with its crisp, fleet energy. Emotion soared in the third movement, paradoxically from De Waart, the most unemotional of conductors. We know this result from him well by now. 

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