Reprinted from yesterday's late edition.
Daniel Majeske, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, was joined Monday night by cellist Janos Starker so that Lorin Maazel might include the Double Concerto on his week-long Brahms cycle now in progress at the Kennedy Center.
Those who were watching closely as the soloist finished the bravura display with which the concerto opens could have seen a quick, almost-hidden smile pass betweenn the soloist as they ended the dazzling passage with a fine flourish. That note of easy brilliance was often present during the concerto as Maazel led the orchestra in expert support of the troubling solo pages.
They are troubling because of the pitfalls inherent in trying to give a solo violinist and a solo cellist equal time and opportunity in the company of a symphony orchestra. The dangers of one or both soloist being drowned out are almost impossible to avoid.
Maazel offered superb balance. Only in those places where Brahms made things too heavy did both solo voices disappear. Majeske, whose playing has long been admired in this city, was as stylish as his distinguished partner.Starker, whose mastery of the cello has become a legend, even to other cellists, was in glorious form.
The evening's symphony was the third which Maazel read with a kind of sparious relaxation. The tone of the orchestra was radiant nearly all evening. Only now and then did Maazel let slow passages reach a point where the underlying pulse diminished to a bare thread. He made ritards where none is indicated, and started one, which Brahms called for, about 15 measures sooner than the composer. Such maneuvers only work against the music's best ends.