Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So it was no surprise that the great Ludwig van's "Spring" Sonata, (No. 5, Opus 24) was the high point of the concert - or rather, the highest point of a performance that operated consistently at an elevated plane. The sonata was not as bubbly as it has sometimes been played - this was an adult reading, in which autumn and winter were not entirely forgotten, and the landscape was lit by occasional flashes of lightning (particularly from Zukerman, who took the lead). Mozart’s B-flat Major Sonata (K. 454) was likewise given a studied, but lovely, reading - it sounded a bit like Beethoven playing Mozart, but ya know - that ain't bad. The concert proper wrapped with Brahms's E-Flat Major Sonata ( Op. 120), originally for piano and clarinet, with Zukerman switching to viola for the woodwind role. Here Bronfman was more prominent, and the piece came off beautifully - but it seemed, after the Beethoven, like a bit of an anticlimax. The duo offered only a single encore, Schumann's “Märchenbilder,’’ (Op. 113), which actually burned with a bit more fire than the Brahms - and with that, the concert was over. Even though I'm sure the crowd would have been happy to sit and listen for hours.