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Friday, January 29, 2021

From Munich with Hans

From the Classical Vault Dept.: Back when daily newspapers covered classical-music events, I often had the assignment both to preview and review an event. That’s what you see here. First the review, which had to be kept annoying brief, then the preview, which, with no interview available, became a rewrite of a press release. I’d say, “It was a living,” but I didn’t even make a living off of writing this stuff.


THE PERFORMANCE by the Munich Chamber Orchestra at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall confirmed what listeners who’ve been able to find this group’s recordings already know: It’s a superb little group, led (as it has been for the past 30 years) by Hans Stadlmair. Although best known for performances of music from the Baroque and Classical periods, the orchestra also presented a very contemporary work in this concert, giving a nice variety to its programming.

Hans Stadlmair
Michael Haydn, brother of the illustrious Franz Josef, has gained a reputation for his prolific output only in recent years. His Notturno in F, which opened Tuesday’s concert, is a short, four-movement symphony with a lot of charm and nothing terribly memorable about it; it benefits most from skillful execution, and so it came across well.

Bach’s “Ricercare for Six Voices,” from “The Musical Offering,” requires very precise playing, laying bare, as it does, so many individual instruments. Again, the orchestra served it well, but so slowly that it verged on a dirge rather than a royal celebration.

Violinist Young Uck Kim has gained a notable reputation during the past 20 years, but his performances of Mozart’s Concerto No. 5 wasn’t the sort from which good reputations are made. Perhaps he’s more at home in the romantic works for his instrument. Mozart seemed to get a heavy dose of the romantic laid upon him, whereas a more successful approach would be to treat the piece as you would a Mozart aria: Discover its character and sing it through the notes rhather than try to twist the notes into a foreign characteristic.

The concluding work, Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, gave the orchestra a chance to do what it does best, and it did it splendidly.

– Albany Knickerbocker News, 8 February 1985

The Munich Chamber Orchestra, which will perform at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at 8 p.m. Tuesday, was founded in 1950 and has been led by artistic director Hans Stadlmair since 1956, who was himself born in Austria and trained at the Vienna Academy of Music.

During his 28 years with the orchestra, he has developed it into one of Europe’s most prestigous ensembles, with a full tour schedule every season. This year marks the orchestra’s sixth visit to the United States.

The Troy program opens with Michael Haydn’s “Notturno in F,” followed by Bach’s Ricercare for Six Voices from “The Musical Offering.” Then violinist Young Uck Kim will play Mozart’s Concerto No. S In A, known as the “Turkish.”

“Fin’al Punto” by Wilhelm Killmayer begins the second half, and the program concludes with Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A, K. 201.

Young Uck Kim will be giving his tenth-anniversary New York City recital this year and a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1948 and began to study the piano at the age of 5, later switching to violin. He was sent to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia on the advice on Rudolf Serkin, where he worked with Ivan Galamian, among others. His professional debut came at the age of 16, with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Eugene Ormandy, in a nationally televised concert.

He performs in a regular schedule of chamber music as well, particularly in a trio with Emanuel Ax and Yo Yo Ma.

Tickets for the Troy concert, which is sponsored by Troy Chromatics Concerts, are priced from $13 to $7, and are available at the box office and at Community Box Office outlets.

– Albany Knickerbocker News, 8 February 1985

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