Stopping time

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 2, 2010

One good reason to attend the Celebrity Series's presentation of Mark Morris's Mozart Dances this past weekend was to hear two Mozart piano concertos, with Jane Glover superbly conducting the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music: the obscure but exquisite No. 11, with the elegant Minsoo Sohn (former student of Russell Sherman and his wife, Wha Kyung Kim), and the final No. 27, with Sherman himself, breaking hearts with Mozart's deceptive simplicity and innocence. And in between, we got the sublime Sonata for Two Pianos in D. These performances were both refined and profoundly touching, with an uncanny rapport between the two pianists in the Sonata, their playing supportive yet individual, Sohn more grounded, Sherman more exploratory. Who wouldn't want to dance to this music?

Christian Tetzlaff is one of today's more serious and adventurous violinists. This past Sunday, the Celebrity Series presented him in a rare recital for solo violin at Jordan Hall, a combination of the profound (Bach), the flashy (Paganini), the unusual (Eugène Ysaÿe's G-minor Sonata), and the avant-garde (four comic and tragic pieces by György Kurtág taking up all of five minutes). Bach's D-minor Partita, with its staggering final Chaconne, seemed relentlessly solemn instead of infinitely varied. I was gripped more by his C-major Sonata, with its fanciful Fuga and tenderly consoling Largo. Kurtág was the best of all, especially the heart-stopping In Memoriam: Tomas Blum, Tetzlaff's second encore, which followed a free-spirited Bach Gavotte en rondeau.

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