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MUSIC REVIEW : Deft Program Lights Up Arabian Night at the Bowl

July 18, 1994|TIMOTHY MANGAN

Meanwhile, at Hollywood Bowl, 12,539 listeners took in a program conductor John Mauceri blithely dubbed "Aladdin's Lamp, or Not the Three Tenors."

This was actually quite an ambitious affair--final event in the weeklong Bowl series celebrating "World Cup USA '94"--by no means your run-of-the-mill pops concert, a neat compendium of things Arabian in film, Broadway and Russian music history and revealing Mauceri's knack for unearthing interesting curiosities.

Not that the assembled masses cared much about reconstructions of lost scores by Miklos Rozsa and Cole Porter or even for never-missing ones by Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin--this seemed an unusually loud and indifferent audience, even by Bowl standards.

The impressive quartet of veteran Broadway belters on hand--Judy Kaye, Lea Salonga, Reece Holland and Richard White--put their numbers across forcefully and engagingly, though the miking of one and all could be piercingly painful.

The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra sounded in good form as well, especially in the bigger moments of the first movement of Rimsky- Korsakov's "Scheherazade" and Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor" (here aided by the Angeles Chorale). But less opulent, more intimate music sometimes found Mauceri and crew strangely beat-bound.

Breezily introduced by the conductor, who manages to slip in some astute musicology from time to time, the program also featured music from Bernard Herrmann's score to "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad," and the U.S. premiere of Rozsa's "Eternal Love" from "Thief of Baghdad."

The vocalists shone brightly in the restoration of Cole Porter's ill-starred (Mauceri blamed this on the critics) television score, "Aladdin," and selections from "Kismet" and Disney's "Aladdin," the whole highlighted by Kaye's boisterous account of Porter's "Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking."

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