Conductor Roger Norrington essayed a crisp program Sunday afternoon of Mozart, Beethoven and Shumann at Verizon Hall. Norrington ambled onstage in a scary Chairman Mao jacket, but a Benny Hill smile. His relaxed deportment on the podium had him at one point stop conducting to mug to the audience after an impossibly breathless tempo by bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa for Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto. The contours of their orchestral volleys are silk. The ascenions of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 4 reminded that Ludwig was a student of Mozart’s. Norrington and the fab Philadelphians untreacled Schumann’s Symphony no. 1 with galloping tempo shifts.
How lucky am I to be able to continue to remain in Beethoven’s galaxy for his String Quartet in E and that would be for Emerson Quartet, executing diamond hard technique and completely supple virtuosity. Danid Finckel’s cello in the opening Schubert would make a charging jaguar purr.