CSO, guest conductor showcase the soul of Vienna


The Denver Post (Denver, Colorado)
Sunday, February 27, 2005

By Sabine Kortals, Denver Post Staff Writer

Among fans of Peter Oundjian, count me in.

Friday night, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra's principal guest
conductor took the stage at Boettcher Concert Hall in his second of
three programs this season.

His elegant and amiable manner obviously appeals to CSO musicians and
audiences alike, and his refined and magnetic musicianship lent itself
well to a program of works showcasing the musical soul of Vienna.

No matter that Oundjian had only an abridged version of the orchestra
to work with; the maestro uncovered both the fact and flair of
Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 - an overall sunny musical journey with
hints of pathos.

Oundjian's perfect tempo and intrinsic artistry conveyed the score
as a satisfying story that sparred triumph and grace against ominous

Less successful, however, were the largely cosmetic pieces on the
program, featuring three CSO principal players.

In part due to the hall's muffling acoustics, YuMi Hwang-Williams'
performance of Franz Schubert's "Konzertstück" in D Major for Violin
and Orchestra was entirely forgettable.

But the violinist wholly redeemed herself in a set of four charming
Fritz Kreisler musical vignettes. From "Caprice Viennois" and
"Tambourin Chinois" to the delightfully sentimental "Liebesleid" and
"Liebesfreud" pairing, soloist and conductor delivered on every sheen
and shade of the lightweight favorites.

Her tone warm and translucent, Hwang-Williams rendered the buoyant
rhythms and rubatos of Kreisler unfettered, as if reading a clutch
of favorite poems.

Pamela Endsley - CSO principal flutist since 1972 - and the wonderfully
talented Courtney Hershey Bress opened with Mozart's Concerto for
Flute and Harp in C Major.

The CSO Masterworks concert repeats at 2:30 p.m. today.