Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Music Review

Treger Solid in American Youth Debut

October 27, 1998|JOHN HENKEN

For the first time since it was founded by Mehli Mehta in 1965, the American Youth Symphony has a new music director. Alexander Treger launched his inaugural season Sunday with solidly played, often genuinely exciting performances before a full house at Royce Hall.

Although perhaps best known as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Treger has been conducting often of late and is also music director of another distinguished training ensemble, the Crossroads Chamber Orchestra. He obviously knows the repertory, conducts clearly and confidently, and seems to inspire his young charges.

Treger began his tenure with a new piece commissioned for the occasion, "Prelude-weaver," by Ian Krouse. Though the program notes make no mention of this, it sounds like an affectionate and knowing homage to John Adams, vividly scored and powerfully pulsed, but with distinctive world-beat tinges of its own.

In the solo spot, Treger had the very real advantage of local hero Daniel Pollack with his signature piece, the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3. The years have not abated Pollack's enthusiasm for the work, and he brought probing intelligence and muscular grace to the thoroughly refreshed assignment.

At concert's close loomed Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, reminding us that standard repertory is what this orchestra is all about. Treger's expressive play with tempos occasionally let momentum sag, but his well-drilled orchestra followed him attentively and gave him thunderous bursts of bright energy at the climaxes, of which he found many.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|