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MUSIC REVIEW : Ford Program Rises Above Loud Din of Rock

July 28, 1993|TIMOTHY MANGAN

It was a night of A-major serenity and rock-concert wails and cheers.

The program at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre Monday listed two quintets in A--the Clarinet Quintet, K. 581, by Mozart and the "Trout" Quintet by Schubert--with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and significant guests as performers. The program across humming Highway 101 at Hollywood Bowl listed the rock charms of New Order, X and 808 State. Guess who won.

Over and under this din, the delicate strains of unamplified chamber music made their way, fairly well, actually, most of the time. Clarinetist David Howard displayed his wonted fluidity in Mozart, offering creamy, ethereal lyricism and nonchalant virtuosity. His Philharmonic cohorts--violinists Mitchell Newman and Lyndon Johnston Taylor, violist Evan N. Wilson, cellist Daniel Rothmuller--gave well-rehearsed, nuanced-in-miniature support.

Guest pianist Mona Golabek turned the energy level up a notch in the "Trout," and in doing so seemed to invigorate her partners. Hers was a dynamic, intelligent reading, vocally phrased, accented with finesse, consistently shaded and shaped but never bogged down in detail. The Philharmonic strings--Newman, Wilson, Rothmuller, and Christopher Hanulik on double bass--countered with extroverted playing of their own, with a number of fine solo turns.

But the cheering and whistling from the Bowl had become truly earnest by "Trout" time, the chamber musicians actually acknowledging, Pavarotti-style, the applause from across the freeway between movements. When the noise seriously threatened the Schubert Finale, however, they could only smile and continue gamely.

The large Ford audience gave their own yelping applause at the end in comic compensation--three cheers from a beleaguered minority.

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