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Paavo Järvi is a brilliant interpreter of Prokofiev's music. (His Cincinnati recording of the composer's Romeo and Juliet ballet music ranks with versions by Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti, and Mark Ermler among the best CDs of this lush score.) He evoked the pensive spirit and wrenching climaxes of the opening Andante in a masterful manner. His ability to communicate long limbed musical paragraphs (rather than thematic episodes) with power and eloquence was impressive. The bitter irony of the Allegro marcato evolved at a fierce tempo. The expressive phrasing of the trio (with lovely wind playing) provided dynamic contrast. Järvi paced the beautiful Adagio broadly. The gorgeous tonal colors of this music have rarely glistened so brightly! The warm lyricism of the music unfurled anew in waves of lush orchestral sound. The Allegro giocoso finale was all rhythmic energy with sinewy winds and brass producing playing of enormous force and impact. Järvi's phrasing of the triumphant second theme was beautiful and striking in its elongated breadth and eloquence. The orchestra's virtuosic playing and Järvi's brilliant conducting made this Prokofiev Fifth Symphony a performance to remember. Bravo Paavo!

Beethoven's wonderful Concerto in C for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra Op 56 (Triple Concerto) formed the concert's centerpiece. This work represents not Beethoven the titan, but Beethoven as composer of warmly songful instrumental music. The Eroica Trio played the score with just the right combination of lyrical beauty and virtuosic brilliance. This gifted threesome combines chic glamour with splendid musicianship. Violinist Adela Pena played with a penetrating tone and trenchant musicality. Cellist Sara Sant' Ambrogio displayed a rich, glowing tone and eloquent phrasing. Pianist Erika Nickrenz has an instinctive sense of musical ebb and flow plus keyboard virtuosity and precision to burn. The beautiful sense of orchestral chamber music the trio brought to the Largo was memorable. The glowing lyricism of their playing seemed to embrace the music. What wonderful dance-like vigor and musical verve they brought to the Rondo alla polacca finale! The Eroica Trio offered a Triple Concerto to treasure! Järvi and the orchestra provided beautifully collaborative, eloquent support.

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Copyright © 22 May 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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