Pinchas Zukerman and friends, 27 November 2016, Adelaide Town Hall.
The famous Zukerman trio (the Big Z directing and on violin; Angela Cheng on piano and Amanda Forsyth on cello) and selected members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra variously performed Debussy’s Cello Sonata; Franck’s Violin Sonata, and Mendelssohn’s Octet, impeccably, with real brio and élan.
The Cello Sonata is a mess, frankly, an example of Debussy’s notorious musical impressionism, likely to be enjoyed only by the likes of free-former Scratchy Impasto. But then Mr. Zukerman strode onto the stage and with piano accompaniment, delivered a beautiful version of Cesar’s Franck’s intricate (but mournful) Violin Sonata. And, after the interval, Zukerman, Forsyth and 6 select musicians from the ASO* gave us the delightful Octet for Strings.
Mendelssohn was, in his own way, as brilliant a child prodigy as Mozart. This complex, innovative and seamless piece for strings was written by the composer when he was just 16, inspired by the masterwork of family friend Goethe, Faust.
The suite is entirely brilliant but the scherzo, inspired by ‘Walpurgis Night’s Dream’ from Faust, is breathtaking. From a close and central vantage point, your correspondent was able to take in the sweeping grandeur and urgency of it, with individual musicians rising to their own roles as would a Mexican Wave. And all under the consummate and avuncular guidance of Mr Zukerman. A terrific programme.[*Natsuko Yoshimoto, violin; Cameron Hill, violin; Michael Milton, violin; Imants Larsens, viola; Michael Robertson, viola; Simon Cobcroft, cello.]
Here’s a taste from an earlier Zukerman recording, courtesy of You Tube: