Kopatchinskaja saved Seattle concertgoers from boredom

Kopatchinskaja saved Seattle concertgoers from boredom
Kopatchinskaja saved Seattle concertgoers from boredom

The SSO did not excel yesterday at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, in a concert featuring New York-born conductor David Zinman and violinist Patricia Kapatchinskaja.

The program included the Introduction to Khovantchina, a tune created by Mussorgsky but orchestrated by Rimsky Korsakov. The piece passed without creating any excitement in the audience, yet the woodwind principals gave a number of well-delivered phrases.

The best of the evening came with Sergey Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, a masterpiece full of unbelief and despair. It was nicely served by the young violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, in a passionate and sincere performance. The first movement sounded fierce, with some galvanizing passages sung by Kopatchinskaja’s violin. Her connection with Maestro Zinman achieved several exciting moments.

During the second movement, our violinist was dreamy and enthusiastic at a time, always dying her performance with dark and distressing colors. Barefooted and wearing a red nightdress which gave her a certain image of a dazed magician, she seemed to be very involved in Prokofiev’s score, to the point she couldn’t help dancing with the orchestra. To close the piece, the SSO offered the third movement in style. The low-pitched strings gave a magnificent counterpoint to the violin discourse. By the time, the audience at the Benaroya was hypnotized with the riveting and macabre dance which is the third movement.

As a response to the close ovation (the longest so far this season), Ms. Kopatchinskaja played an encore with SSO concertmaster Elisa Barston. Both ladies amazed with a sparkling and frenetic duet.

After the break, we attended to a dull and disappointing version of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E minor. The SSO sounded forced and unbalanced during the awaited finale. The opulent and fantastic piece of music announced on the program noted did not appear, which was somehow disappointing. Certainly, Mr. Zinman did not set his most imaginative version of the symphony. The ephemeral flashes of quality in the flute (Jeffrey Barker) were not enough to fully please the audience.

Carlos J Lopez