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Music Review : Jarvi, Jablonski Shine, but Bowl's Sound System Falters

August 26, 1995|DANIEL CARIAGA | TIMES MUSIC WRITER

Paavo Jarvi made a generally good second impression at the Hollywood Bowl Thursday night, despite distractions caused by conflicting evidence from the odd-sounding amplification system.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic's untroubled and well-spoken performance of Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, neatly but individually conducted by Jarvi, who had made his Bowl debut two nights before, offered pleasant if mixed rewards.

Not every part of Jarvi's "New World" proved convincing, but even with some strange balances and an apparently incomplete dynamic scheme--probably because of the sound system--the total had to please.

This was a faceted and nuanced reading, unafraid of tempo variances within short spans yet extremely articulate and musical. Several soloists within the orchestra--especially English hornist Carolyn Hove, who played the exposed portions in the Largo exquisitely--contributed strongly to young Jarvi's success.

*

The rest of the evening provided momentary joys amid acoustical confusion. Peter Jablonski was the returning soloist in the Grieg Piano Concerto, playing the lyrical and filigreed portions very beautifully but failing--probably another result of the amplification, which made the piano seem weak and the opposite of brilliant--to achieve the lust and loudness that this piece usually offers.

At the beginning of the evening, Jarvi led, for a reported 9,850 listeners, a stodgy and mushy account of Brahms' "Academic Festival" Overture. His uncommanding tempos were not helped by the dishwater textures emanating from the loudspeakers.

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