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The word, from the Top

By Leslie Kandell
Friday, July 6, 2012
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At Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall recitals, everyone great and small hangs around at intermission -- which explains why, at a concert by the venerable Emerson String Quartet, I, who do not play the violin, could dare to sidle up to the legendary Joseph Silverstein, the much-decorated, mega-famous Boston Symphony concertmaster for 22 years, who has performed and recorded all this chamber music -- and complain that Mozart's Quartet K. 575 sounded thin.

He fixed me with a “This time you really overreached” squinty stare and said, “You’re wrong. You’re so wrong, you’re absolutely wrong.” He spoke of the Emerson’s refinement and elegance, which I had missed out on because I was dozing (don’t look for a review from me).

I slunk off, vowing to mend my ways after intermission, and had a great time with Beethoven Op. 130 -- original Grosse Fuge ending. By golly, it was rich with refinement and elegance–plus substance, sweep, and what a colleague once unfortunately called “forward thrust.” No sleeping possible.
Now THAT will be mentioned in my review.

Pictured: A file photo of Silverstein conducting a rehearsal of the Tanglewood Student Orchestra. (Courtesy of Whitestone Photo)

 
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