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Music Review : Zinman Conducts Mozart At Bowl

July 04, 1987|JOHN HENKEN

A large crowd of aficionados of the Classical muse turned out Thursday for a preseason evening of Mozart at Hollywood Bowl. The 14,229 in attendance nearly doubled the Wednesday audience--which had gathered for a program of ostensibly popular Russian repertory--although it may be too much to read a message into that fact.

At any rate, the masses huddling on a very cool night were in mid-season form, blithely applauding between movements and dropping bottles and cans with abandon.

Onstage, things went surprisingly well. David Zinman led a suitably down-sized version of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in brisk, no-nonsense fashion, and the amplification presented generally equable balances.

There were some signs of under-rehearsal and confusion, but Zinman's fairly standardized ideas about the 33rd and 40th symphonies emerged respectably. He seems to favor heavy metrical accents, a clearly defined dynamic order, and quick finales.

In the opening 33rd, in B-flat, Zinman allowed outgoing tunefulness full play. For the closing 40th, in G minor, he enlarged the string contingent slightly and concentrated more on inner voices.

For genuine Mozartean magic, however, there was Richard Goode's eloquent account of the Piano Concerto No. 17, in G, with Mozart's cadenzas. Neither evening chill nor wayward accompaniment perturbed his evenly modulated, superbly articulated playing.

Goode managed that rare transformation of highly controlled artifice and nuance into organic spontaneity. He made careful calculation sound completely natural, and if he did drop a note in the process, at least one listener missed it.

William Lane, principal horn of the Philharmonic, did not fare so pristinely on his perilous instrument. But he did tap a seemingly endless reservoir of mellow, balanced tone in the E-flat Concerto and capture an appropriately lyric and bucolic ebullience.

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