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CityMusic Cleveland commences new season, 'Mozart Violin Concerto Tour' in dynamic fashion (review)
Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer, October 24, 2013

If this is how things continue with Avner Dorman, the future of CityMusic Cleveland is bright indeed.

Kicking off the group’s 10th anniversary season Wednesday, the group’s new music director presented a program both charming and well-conceived, one that sounded every bit as good in person as it looked on paper.

What’s more, it’ll never get stale. Thanks to Rachel Barton Pine, the gifted and generous violinist performing a different Mozart Violin Concerto on each of this week’s five concerts, each evening truly qualifies as unique.

Wednesday’s concert was certainly special, in any event. Exploring lesser-known pockets of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and featuring a work by Dorman himself, the performance at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights spotlighted talent all over the orchestra.

Pine, for her part, had a brilliant first stop on her “Mozart Violin Concerto Tour.” Playing Concerto No. 4, the violinist embodied the highest of Classical virtues, imbuing the familiar work with vigor and animation.

Like a master orator, Pine delivered Mozart’s opening lines and a feisty cadenza with forceful, declarative strength. As the composer lightened in spirit, however, so did the violinist transform into an amusing wit, enticing listeners with shapely phrasing and poignant timing. She also chose the perfect encore: Brahms’ Lullaby, on an instrument selected by the composer himself.