John Axelrod

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30 Apr 2002
Messiaen and Amadeus

Sunday's concert by the Sinfonietta Cracovia under the direction of John Neal Axelrod put us into the pleasant mood of a long weekend, enticing listeners with the magic word "Amadeus" printed on the placards, which, incidentally, were very tastefully designed. The columns of the "Daily" don't grow in proportion to the number of concerts, so I'll just say in brief that I greatly enjoyed the soloists in the Concerto in C major for flute and harp, Gra┬┐yna Zbijowska and Anna Sikorzak-Olek , while soprano Marta Boberska shone in a spectacular motet in the style of the Italian Exsultate Jubilate. Adding variety to the program were two overtures: from "The Marriage of Figaro" at the opening, and from "Don Juan" in the second half. The evening's culmination was Mozart's last symphony, the masterpiece Symphony in C major KV 551, known as the Jupiter symphony. The interpretation was very lively, ideally balanced in terms of tone, and beautifully and precisely phrased (in the Finale as well, in which Axelrod set a rather brisk tempo) both by the strings, as well as the wind instruments. It's been quite some time since Krakow has heard the music of Mozart played so well, and both the orchestra and conductor are due equal credit.

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