A rising moon, some temporary respite from noisy aircraft, a brass-ensemble rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner"--these became the striking elements in the first concert of the third week of subscription events at Hollywood Bowl, Tuesday night.
Otherwise, the reliable playing of the Los Angeles Philharmonic seemed neither to suffer nor to gain from the presence on the podium of the music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, Edo de Waart. And the Bowl debut of the young Italian pianist, Andrea Lucchesini, made a neutral impression.
But the programming held interest. Before playing the fanfare that opens Paul Dukas' ballet, "La Peri," a dozen brass players of our Philharmonic played a most pleasing arrangement of the National Anthem that added a touch of class to this normally uninspired ritual at the beginning of Bowl concerts. Subsequently, the group's performance of Dukas' wind overture started off the concert proper pungently.
Chopin's "Andante spianato" and "Grande Polonaise" is a sufficiently rare concert item these days that its return to the outdoor amphitheater had to be welcome. In the event, no great joys were forthcoming, because the 23-year-old Lucchesini, though he played the yoked works honestly enough, made nothing special out of them.