Was this the perfect Beethoven Seventh? Is there anything harder to pull off than one of the most familiar pieces of music in the classical repertory? To my ears, the mysterious slow introduction to the first movement seemed unfocused, and Lewis's performance took off only after the movement sped up. In the Presto third-movement Scherzo, the interrupting Trio presents a break in the lively dance — the intrusion of a village band. I wish Lewis had endowed this section with more character. Very well played, it didn't make the impression it could. Lewis will surely have many years to consider and reconsider his approach, and what was good about his current Beethoven Seventh was plenty exciting. (The Discovery Ensemble returns to Sanders on November 6 with Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, Copland's Clarinet Concerto, Hadyn's Symphony Number 90.)

So though Anne-Sophie Mutter won the popularity contest, our local celebrities, the greater artists, won the musical palms and laurels. It wasn't even close.

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