Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cleveland Orchestra: Nikolaj Znaider - Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Elgar

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216 (Nikolaj Znaider, violin)
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 ("Italian") in A major, Op. 90
Elgar: Enigma Variations, Op. 36.
Nikolaj Znaider, conductor.

As I prepare to head out of town again, so does -- it seems -- the Cleveland Orchestra, making this my only Cleveland Orchestra concert in the month of February (I can't really complain though -- I'll be spending the next week in the relative warmth of Southern California) 

Opening the program, Nicolaj Znaider both conducted and preformed the solo part of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3. Though somewhat unique -- and I'm sure a challenging feat -- the performance came off as effortless and featured a tender second movement (adagio) in a sandwich of energy with the fist movement (allegro) having a more refined feeling with the third movement (rondo: allegro) having a more relaxed energy and some folksy influences.

Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 is, or course anchored by an insistent but simple theme and catchy in the first movement, with more of a processional feel in the second movement. 

The final piece on the program were Elgars Enigma Variiations I through XIV -- fourteen variations in the span of a bit more than thirty minutes gave quite the whirlwind tour of sounds and emotions -- from the romantic, to the languid, to the energetic and passionate. 


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