Following up last week’s pairing of Beethoven and De Falla, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos offered another program at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday night with a similar formula: Haydn with Spanish and quasi-Spanish music. And he had company in the form of cellist Lynn Harrell, who was in a mischievous mood.
After an innocuous launch into the first movement cadenza of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C, Harrell started inserting funny pauses that produced some giggles. Then he became a human iPod, running through quotes from the Beethoven Violin Concerto, Mahler 2, Schubert 9 and Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony -- with Frühbeck de Burgos and the Los Angeles Philharmonic interjecting their own “surprise.”
It was all very loony and, frankly, delightful.
The rest of the concerto was handled straight-forwardly, with Harrell still in command of the fast technical work in the finale -- and his encore was quite serious, a soulful rendition of the “Mélodie” from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” dedicated to easing strife in the world.
Frühbeck de Burgos prefaced all of this with a graceful rendering of some relatively rare Haydn, the Symphony No. 6 (“Le Matin”) -- part of a morning-noon-night symphony cycle where Haydn’s classical style and wit were already blooming.