The San Diego Union-Tribune
August 24, 2019
At Friday night’s final La Jolla Music Society SummerFest concert, works by Andrew Norman and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich engagingly commingled with Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and Mozart in Baker-Baum Hall.
This year’s SummerFest was programmed around the theme of “Transformation,” composers and arrangers finding inspiration in earlier music. I don’t recall another SummerFest that executed a festival-long idea as new Music Director Inon Barnatan did this year. His programming choices were thoughtful and thematically consistent.
Take the J.S. Bach Concerto in D major for Three Violins that opened the concert. For years, this work was known as a concerto for Three Harpsichords, but scholars believe that the triple harpsichord concerto was an arrangement of a triple violin concerto. Violinist Rudolf Baumgartner reconstructed this lost concerto by changing the key and arranging the harpsichord parts for violins.
Baroque music expert Nicholas McGegan ably conducted a pick-up orchestra drawn from SummerFest’s amazing reserve of musical talent, with previous SummerFest director Cho-Liang Lin joyfully playing the first violin part alongside James Ehnes and Augustin Hadelich.