Thursday, November 9, 2017
Under the gentle manner of renowned conductor Zubin Mehta, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra gave a delightful performance at The Arlington Theatre last week with a traditional program of Mozart and Schubert. An excellent piece for such a high-caliber orchestra, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 in C Major unfolded exquisitely through the first movement’s jovial allegro and the second movement’s slower, genteel andante. The high point culminated in the Menuetto, which was played brightly and with pride, the movement alone proving the entire evening a success.
Mehta led the orchestra through Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major, a beast of a composition that was performed with the wind section brought uniquely to the front of the stage. With the forward placement of the winds highlighting the spirited variety of sounds, the piece unfurled with more dimension than the standard orchestral arrangement.
But it was contemporary composer Amit Pozansky’s “Footnote,” Suite for Orchestra — a brief yet theatrical piece full of comic phrases from the winds and macabre bowings from the strings — that charmed the most. There is a linear narrative redolent in Pozansky’s Suite, which the Israel Phil expressed with slow, building action and a cinematic climax. The unusual approach by the masterful orchestra imbued the piece with refreshing humor and color.