DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

SCRUTINY | Old Pro Zukerman Makes Real Music With The TSO

By Arthur Kaptainis on January 18, 2019

(Photo: Jag Gundu)

Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman. Roy Thomson Hall, Thursday. Repeats Jan. 18–19. For tickets see www.tso.ca

Holy cow. Pinchas Zukerman plays and conducts Mozart with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In Roy Thomson Hall, no less.

No one would award the TSO subscription concerts this week a prize for originality, but a few honours for burnished tone and old-fashioned musicality would not be amiss. I heard the second performance, on Thursday. The repeats on Friday and Saturday are worth your consideration.

The 70-year-old Israeli-American often doubles as soloist and conductor in his guest appearances. No doubt he has played Mozart’s Violin Concertos No. 3 and No. 5 hundreds of times.

No. 3 possibly less often. This was a remarkably interior treatment, finely spun throughout, with the most elegant cantilena imaginable in the Adagio. Minor-mode shadows in the finale were perceptively outlined. Standing amid the players, Zukerman positioned himself acoustically within the orchestra rather than in front of it. The first-movement cadenza was an adventure within the expressive limits of the work.

No. 5, before the break, sounded flabbier, with legato and vibrato in abundance. The “Turkish” episode of the finale was tame. A few uncharacteristic blips could be heard in the orchestra.

Pinchas Zukerman leads members of the TSO (Photo: Jag Gundu)
Pinchas Zukerman leads members of the TSO (Photo: Jag Gundu)

The evening opened with an easygoing Overture to The Marriage of Figaro. Here was a presto in something less than a hurry. The Symphony No. 35 (“Haffner”), concluding the program, was better suited to Zukerman’s tastes.  The opening movement was grand. There was much romance in the slow movement, elicited by delicate hand gestures (and no baton). The Menuetto was stalwart and the presto tempo of the finale was the real thing.

The string complement of about 34 (fewer in the concertos) was healthy enough for Mozart. One sensed gratitude in the ranks for the freedom to play naturally rather than following a historically-informed protocol. Zukerman used neither podium nor score (nor, happily, a microphone). He seemed to view himself as part of the gang.

The TSO scheduled four consecutive nights, presumably on the assumption that the star power of Zukerman could not fail. The lower levels were packed, all right — because the upper levels were closed. A situation we shall continue to watch.

Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis has been the classical music critic of the Montreal Gazette since 1986 and wrote for the National Post 2010-2016. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Ludwig Van. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto.

Arthur Kaptainis

Arthur Kaptainis has been the classical music critic of the Montreal Gazette since 1986 and wrote for the National Post 2010-2016. His articles have appeared in Classical Voice North America and La Scena Musicale as well as Ludwig Van. Arthur holds an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto.
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

THE SCOOP | University of Toronto Faculty Of Music Names New Dean

By Michael Vincent on January 7, 2021

The University of Toronto has named Dr. Ellie Hisama as Dean of the Faculty of Music.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

THE SCOOP | Update: Livestreaming From Concert Venues Prohibited During Current Lockdown

By Anya Wassenberg on January 13, 2021

A representative for the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries clarifies the situation regarding livestreaming during the lockdown.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical And Opera Streams You Absolutely Need To See This Week: January 18 – 24

By Joseph So on January 18, 2021

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of January 18 – 24.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.