As a second installment in a three-program, weeklong survey of Beethoven's piano concertos in Hollywood Bowl, Misha Dichter, Claus Peter Flor and the Los Angeles Philharmonic offered the Second and Third Concertos to an audience of 8,169 Thursday night in Cahuenga Pass.
It was a disappointing performance, though brief. Flor and the Philharmonic opened the proceedings with one of Beethoven's shorter overtures, that to "The Creatures of Prometheus." The small-boned B-flat Concerto followed; after an intermission, only the C-minor Concerto occupied the second half. The attentive audience was released at a quarter past 10.
Dichter remains the most diligent of pianists. He commands a fine fluency; his scales, arpeggios and passagework usually purl and ripple effortlessly, and he seldom punishes the instrument--indeed, he sometimes finds quiet passages to wallow in, a habit that some listeners may find a mark of seriousness, while others consider it merely willful and self-indulgent.
At any rate, he is a pianist of musical solidity, high achievement and technical reliability.
In these two landmarks of the repertory, however, as in the two concertos (Nos. 1 and 4) he played Tuesday night, Dichter failed to make an individual mark. So familiar are these works that Dichter's usually smooth performances of them served the odd function of reminding listeners of more interesting ones in their personal histories.