John Axelrod






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30 Apr 2002
Modernity and Classicism
Polish Daily Krakow Gazette

This concert both began and ended with a powerful accent. For the opening, there was the overture to "The Marriage of Figaro", while the Jupiter Symphony comprised the finale. The two celebrated works of Mozart in the interpretation of the Sinfonietta Cracovia under the direction of John Neal Axelrod sounded dynamic and monumental, but also had a lightness that naturally educed all of the contrasts, shades and nuances. After all, it's obvious that the conductor knows this literature inside out, which is borne out by the fact that, in these two cases, he led the orchestra without a score. The concert, titled "Amadeus", was intended - I assume - to present various aspects of the genius composer. Consequently, following the well-known and recognizable overture to "The Marriage of Figaro", Gra┬┐yna Zbijowska and Anna Sikorzak - Olek performed the Concerto for flute and harp, KV 299. This less often-played concerto shows Mozart to be as much a contemporary composer as he is classical. One could easily attribute some of its phrases to one of the impressionists, especially considering that the pairing of the flute and harp is, indeed, something seen fairly often in 20th Century music.

And in addition to that, there was the Exultate Jubilate sung by Marta Boberska (soprano), which in this case sounded very traditional, with obvious veneration and respect for the score. This evening with Amadeus can certainly be regarded as a success. If any of those in attendance - although it would be hard to believe - didn't have much of an idea of Mozart's work, then they were given an opportunity to taste some truly delicious morsels, and become aficionados of this "cuisine" forever. For enthusiasts and lovers of the composer of "The Magic Flute", the interpretation of John Neal Axelrod was no disappointment, but confirmation that their affections are directed toward music's most beautiful realms.


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