Cleveland Orchestra, Les Delices concerts make for 'indulgent,' animated musical weekend

Leonidas Kavakos
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Widely distant in terms of repertoire, the Cleveland Orchestra and Les Delices had at least one striking trait in common in their performances last week: animation.

Mere baton-waving was not enough for Noseda. No, he made his wishes known Friday with body language, using his knees, shoulders and hips to model the vigor, sensuality and playful teasing he sought. How the orchestra followed Noseda is anyone's guess. Whether or not his methods were effective, however, was beyond question.

Had his stellar reputation not preceded him, violinist Leonidas Kavakos might have been predicted by his shy mien to be a meek, introspective performer. In fact, he was just the opposite.

Like Noseda, Kavakos, last heard here in 2011, amplified everything he touched. Coming from him, the angst-filled Nocturne was almost more than one could bear, an icy stream of melody.

Similarly, both the Scherzo and Burlesca overflowed their emotional banks. The former progressed like a fever, brewing steadily and rising to a fast, almost violent boil, while in the latter, Kavakos struggled not with technical matters but to contain his own virtuosity. Matinee crowds don't always hear concertos. Thus was Kavakos a double treat.

Read the rest of the review here