Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
There is a conductor lurking within the souls of more great instrumentalists than one would think. Witness Pinchas Zuckerman, who is among the most sought after violinists in the world today. Sunday night he led the National Symphony Chamber Orchestra in a delightful program of music by Mozart, Bach and Haydn, and also shared in the solo duties.
He teamed with Miran Kojian, NSO concertmaster, on a performance of the Beach Double Violin Concerto that brought the audience to its feet in appreciation, and with oboist Sara Watkins, bassoonist Kenneth Pasmanick and cellist John Martin for Haydn's bumptious Sinfonia Concertante in B Flat Major, Opus 84.
Needless to say he played these beautifully, although he and Kojian did not agree on some crucial bowings in the Bach.
On the podium. however. Zuckerman was not as effective. His intentions seemed clear and incisive, but his tempos were much too fast in some places for any sort of technical or musical sense.The Mozart D Major Divertimento. K 136, got off to a racing start that sounded virile but hassled, calmed down for a nice Andante stretch, and then took off for a frantic final Presto.
The Mozart G Major Flute Concerto, played with great dexterity by Eugenia Zuckerman, also had its Hurried moments.
Maestro Zuckerman managed the difficult business of balancing the orchestra and flute with considerable skill, however, and the piece sounded solid if not particularly graceful.
The concert began with a nice bouncy performance of the Overture to Mozart's"The Marriage of Figaro."