It’s always a treat when the Utah Symphony honors one of its own with a solo appearance. Associate concertmaster Kathryn Eberle, already one of the orchestra’s more popular players in her third season at Abravanel Hall, gets to show off her star quality this weekend in Leonard Bernstein’s "Serenade After Plato’s ‘Symposium.’ "
Eberle is a highly charismatic performer. In Friday’s concert, she married unimpeachable technical skill with a persuasive and perceptive voice. The Bernstein "Serenade" is a five-movement concerto in which various philosophers expound on love. Eberle brought each of these thinkers to life. Her Utah Symphony colleagues, under the direction of Thierry Fischer, gave equally thoughtful support. Especially telling were the sequences in which Eberle carried out dialogues with cellist Matthew Johnson, bassist David Yavornitzky and, at one point, the entire first violin section, which played as one. Harpist Matthew Tutsky also offered striking bits of color at key moments.
Music of Bernstein, Nielsen and Mozart.
With » Conductor Thierry Fischer and violinist Kathryn Eberle.
When » Reviewed Friday, April 11; repeats Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m.
Where » Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets » $23-$74 at www.utahsymphony.org
Running time » Two hours, including intermission
Learn more » Eberle and Nielsen biographer Mogens Mogensen will discuss the music with Utah Symphony VP Toby Tolokan onstage at 7 p.m.
Another Bernstein work, the "Candide" Overture, received a bold and boisterous reading, an interesting contrast with the absorbing performance of Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5 that followed. This is a smartly constructed, thought-provoking work that should be played more often. Keith Carrick’s increasingly edgy snare-drum solo, which pitted him against the rest of the orchestra in the first movement, was of particular interest.
The concert opened with an invigorating performance of Mozart’s popular "Eine kleine Nachtmusik."
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