[…] As its concluding tour de force, the orchestra played Bartok’s Suite from „The Miraculous Mandarin.“ It lacked the imperturbable balance and polish of the night’s other performances. But it was a delicious tumult, worthy of the lurid tale it tells, one in which three tramps force a young woman to seduce victims off the street, including the eponymous Mandarin. Violence ensues.Bartok created a great orchestral showcase here, with brilliant scoring for winds and muted brass. There are Stravinsky-inspired earthshaking rhythms and nocturnal textures that glow iridescently. I most enjoyed the sinister performances of the clarinets, as the young woman seeks her first victims; the exquisite effervescence, a drizzling of fireworks through the orchestra, connoting the Mandarin’s arrival; and the clean psycho-strings, excoriating brass and tribal percussive assault of the last movement. […]

Logo: Matthias Schonr
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