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The twelve string symphonies of the teenage Felix Mendelssohn are some of the most beautiful music ever written for string ensemble. The String Symphony No 2 in D was given a full blooded, richly Romantic performance. The strings embraced the songful theme of the Andante with glowing tonal sheen. Brooks Bruzzese's intense, passionately stated reading of the final Allegro-Vivace was powerful indeed. A stunning performance of a miniature masterwork! (Brooks Bruzzese repeated the final movement of the Mendelssohn work as an encore at the conclusion of the concert.)

Mozart's Divertimento in B flat K137 represents that ultimate musical genius at his most ingratiating and melodically inspired. The warm string sounds of the Czech ensemble produced Mozart in the best Salzburg-Vienna-Prague manner. (The three cities were the touchstones of Mozart's musical life.) Brooks Bruzzese led a graceful, loving rendition of the first movement Andante. The Allegro di molto had the lilt of a Viennesse court dance. The strings players brought invigorating energy to the concluding Allegro assai. A gem of a Mozart performance!

In an era of staid, conventional programming, it was a pleasure to encounter a concert of varied, rarely heard works. The combination of a first rate chamber orchestra and a conductor giving of his best produced superb music making. A memorable concert!

Copyright © 21 August 2004 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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