Larry Zalkind
UTAH SYMPHONY, LARRY ZALKIND AND JOSEPH SILVERSTEIN, Abravanel Hall, Friday; additional performance today, 8 p.m. (355-2787)

This weekend's Utah Symphony concerts have something for everybody. If a 20th century concerto for trombone isn't to your taste, you can enjoy Sibelius' most popular symphony after intermission. And to put you in the mood, there is a Beethoven overture to start things off.

And if this isn't enough, there is Joseph Silverstein on the podium — his first appearance with the orchestra as conductor in a number of years.

Both Silverstein and this weekend's soloist, the orchestra's principal trombone Larry Zalkind playing Christopher Rouse's Trombone Concerto, were the stars of the evening, along with the Utah Symphony, which gave one of its most dynamic and compelling performances of the season.

The Rouse has to be one of the most challenging works for the trombone. Rouse explores the instrument's expressive and dynamic possibilities to the fullest, and all with incredibly nuanced writing in between the ear-shattering fortissimos and the nearly inaudible low notes.

Zalkind is a superb trombonist who gave a stellar performance of the work, while displaying his remarkable technical skills as well as his consummate musicality to the fullest. His performance was wonderfully crafted and executed.

And Silverstein had complete mastery over the complex score. His understanding and perception of the work were impressive. Consequently, the orchestra played with amazing articulation and cleanly defined execution. The musicians, and especially the large percussion section, played radiantly, and the intricate interplay between them and the soloist was stunning.

Sibelius' Second Symphony is without question one of his most popular works. It's a wonderful piece that bridges German romanticism and Sibelius' own emerging style. Silverstein elicited a beautifully nuanced performance, and, except for an occasional sloppy entrance and a few squeaks from the trumpets, the orchestra played luminously.

The concert opened with Beethoven's overture to "Egmont."


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