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DSO Highlights: Captivating Mozart and Ravel


by Olin Chism 6 May 2010

A joyous performance of a Mozart concerto and a shimmering, captivating performance of a Ravel ballet made Thursday night’s concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra a memorable event. Rejoining the orchestra was music director Jaap van Zweden, who brought along a talented pair of brothers. Arthur and Lucas Jussen are not twins, though they could […]

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A joyous performance of a Mozart concerto and a shimmering, captivating performance of a Ravel ballet made Thursday night’s concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra a memorable event. Rejoining the orchestra was music director Jaap van Zweden, who brought along a talented pair of brothers.

Arthur and Lucas Jussen are not twins, though they could pass for it if you failed to notice a slight difference in height. They have the same color of hair, blond, and very similar facial features. But the important thing is that the Dutch teen-agers are musical twins. They were as one in Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat, K. 365, for two pianos (which was probably written for Mozart himself and his sister, Nannerl, so a genetic tie is appropriate).

Beautifully backed by Van Zweden and the DSO, the Jussens played cleanly and stylishly and projected a consistent sense of joy. This was playing to cheer up a misanthrope.

Van Zweden and the orchestra played the complete Ma Mère l’Oye, or Mother Goose, of Ravel. This lovely music was beautifully shaded by Van Zweden and played by the orchestra, with much elegant solo work by DSO principals.

A fair-to-middlin’ performance of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence opened the concert in the Meyerson Symphony Center. The piece was originally a sextet, and has been heard in Dallas in that version. I don’t recall a previous performance of the orchestral version, which is for strings alone.

The program will be repeated Friday through Sunday.

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