Advertisement

MUSIC REVIEW

A pleasant, if bland, evening at the Bowl

September 09, 2006|Daniel Cariaga | Special to The Times

Before he was called away on family business earlier this week, Miguel Harth-Bedoya had planned a most engaging program for his Thursday night appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

It was a French program of familiar orchestral pieces by Saint-Saens, Bizet, Dukas and Ravel -- a light but tasty menu of Gallic chestnuts.

In the event, the popular Peruvian-born conductor was succeeded by the young Swiss musician Mischa Santora, who led the proceedings neatly but without any particular distinction. Nonetheless, a happy crowd in Cahuenga Pass cheered all the performances lustily.

The blandest part of the evening came first, in a suite from Bizet's "Carmen," conducted efficiently by the 34-year-old Santora without expressing much musical personality. Most successful was Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre," which the orchestra delivered exuberantly, with special solo contributions from concertmaster Alexander Treger. Dukas' "Sorcerer's Apprentice" and Ravel's "La Valse" exposed the ensemble's usual virtuosity without reaching its higher level of musical showmanship.

At mid-program, the soloist was the Korean musician Han-Na Chang, who played Saint-Saens' First Cello Concerto confidently but with a tone that seemed mostly monochromatic and without the level of passion and spontaneity one would hope to encounter. The 23-year-old Chang makes a charming stage presence but projects little force or charisma. Santora and the Philharmonic accompanied her deftly.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|