One of the more compelling passages in this piece was in the second movement, with its long cello solo. And there's a nice moment near the end in which the soloist is accompanied by a string quartet that is playing pizzicato. After a standing ovation, Lewis and Weilerstein left the stage without acknowledging the superb work of principal cellist Michal Shein. "Cellista!" someone in the audience yelled out, and Shein, followed by her first-desk colleagues, took their deserved bow. Shame on Lewis for forgetting to recognize them.
Heitor Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras are his tribute to Bach. The famous one is No. 5, with its orchestra of cellos and memorable passage for a soprano humming. Lewis gave us the last, No. 9, for string orchestra: a brief rhapsodic Prelude (with a juicy viola solo played here by Wenting Kang) followed a dark, rather murky Fugue.
And finally, there was the real thing. I like the warmth of Bach's Orchestral Suites played on modern instruments. Lewis emphasized energy over delicacy, and it seemed, except for the charming fourth-movement minuet, mostly a little too loud and breathless.
Discovery Ensemble will be back at its usual home, in Sanders Theatre (December 2), in a more typical (i.e., exciting) DE program: Bartók's great Divertimento for Strings, Esa-Pekka Salonen's Five Images after Sappho, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 2.
, Martin Pearlman, boston baroque, Handel, More