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Verklarte Nacht was definitely conductor Outwater's best offering of the evening. A familiar figure in South Florida, Outwater was Resident Conductor and Associate Principal Guest Conductor of the Florida Philharmonic. He is presently Resident Conductor (Michael Tilson Thomas's assistant) with the San Francisco Symphony. In previous local appearances Outwater's music making has been erratic and uncertain. His orchestral control has been less than commanding. Many of those same problems were evident in this New World concert. Outwater seemed incapable of achieving a genuine pianissimo (except in Verklarte Nacht). Too often his musical approach was loud and heavy handed.

Edwin Outwater
Edwin Outwater

While Outwater is a smoother, more experienced conductor than he was during his youthful South Florida apprenticeship, his tendency to push forceful, over emphatic accents from an orchestra remains less than ingratiating. Mozart's Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K546 (in advance of the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth in 2006) needed greater lightness of touch. The music lacked that sprightly, airy quality that defines Mozart. Outwater pushed the string volume to extremes.

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Copyright © 10 October 2005 Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA


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