Clever Mr. Vanska…

When the soloist for a performance with the Israeli Phil was barred from entering Israel this month, Mr. Vanska, who was the guest conductor, decided to whip out his clarinet and replace the soloist.  But not with the scheduled piece, by Aho — with Mozart!  In what parallel universe is this the best thing to do?  Hmmm….let’s think about this…

First of all, Vanska managed to completely upstage the Principal Clarinet of the orchestra.  Oh wait, they’re not soloists, you  might be thinking.  Au contraire.  As I learned from my flute teacher, Sid Zeitlin, who was principal flute of the Minnesota Orchestra at that time, the chaired players usually have all the major concerti at their fingertips and ready to go.  And, as he would frequently add, their playing is usually much more connected to the orchestra and musically correct that that of soloists, who have a habit of forgetting all but their own vision of any given piece.

Well, anyhow…

Then there is the issue of blithely substituting Mozart for Aho.  Now, I love Mozart, and am, in fact, addicted to Mozart — it could be said that I don’t have much of a choice!  Nevertheless, the two pieces are from different centuries and miles apart in their effect on the audience.  I wonder if the audience felt that it was in the Twilight Zone?  Exquisite as the Mozart is — with it’s haunting middle movement, written late in his brief life — it must still have been something of a jarring surprise to anyone who had their Aho hat on, so to speak…

Just my 2 cents…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: