Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

MUSIC REVIEW : Yo-Yo Ma Saves Night at the Bowl

September 11, 1993|TIMOTHY MANGAN

A 214-year-old work in premiere, a baton-wielding patron, a chorus of coyotes and Yo-Yo Ma were the highlights at Hollywood Bowl on Thursday night, although not in that order.

In fact, in retrospect everything seemed like mere warm-up to Ma's entrance after intermission with Dvorak's Cello Concerto at the ready. Not surprisingly, he didn't disappoint.

Before that, however, things were on a more mundane level. With 13,193 in attendance, our erstwhile associate conductor, now music director of the Albany Symphony, David Alan Miller started off with the Los Angeles Philharmonic premiere of Haydn's Overture to "L'Isola Disabitata," written in 1779. An episodic mix of Sturm - und - Drang propulsion, airy tunefulness and, out of the blue, galant minuet, Haydn's work elicited a routine run-through from the performers. Although apparently two centuries in the waiting, a helicopter timed its entrance perfectly to coincide with the slow, quiet introduction.

Then, howling coyotes greeted the opening Allegro of Beethoven's First Symphony. Miller led a fleet, nimble performance, pointed accenting and brisk tempos the best of it, somewhat ragged ensemble work the worst.

In the Dvorak concerto, Ma played with unhurried authority, relishing every last note of the work as if it were musical manna. This reading never bogged down into self-serving nuance, however; the ins and outs, the ebb and flow of the piece always gaining from the use of his huge expressive arsenal. He floated and fluttered, stretched, hovered, noodled and roared, but raptly, not narcissistically. If the music seemed completely malleable in his hands, he shaped it poetically and purposefully.

Miller and the Philharmonic offered an enthusiastic, big-boned accompaniment, colorfully detailed and neatly executed.

At "Star-Spangled Banner" time the orchestra led itself, as an awed Philharmonic patron, top bidder at a 1991 fund-raiser, waved his arms about.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|