The Washington Chamber Orchestra closed its season last night at the First Baptist Church with an all-Mozart concert that left the audience looking forward to next year with a smile.
The "Jupiter" Symphony No. 41 in C Major ended the evening on a strong and joyful note. Possibly Mozart's finest, the counterpoint of the "Jupiter" and its audible logic were considered old-fashioned in its day. It took years for it to be understood that Mozart's genius lay in his refusal to part with the past, rather absorbing and surpassing it in a gentle dialetic of strength and beauty. These revolutionary qualities of the music were evident with assured, clear rhythms that created the illusion of power in the orchestra's modest strings.
If the colors of the symphony were often mere pastels, the outlines were always palpable, the structure wonderfully exposed. There was poignant oboe and cello phrasing in the central movements, which were grand in scale. And the final movement was a triumph despite the Rossinian shadings in the upper strings. In this figure is the link between the baroque and the classic eras, Mozart's brillant bridge. The Washington Chamber Orchestra crossed it with momentum and elan.