Garrick Ohlsson, pianist
The program opened with Schumann’s Konzertstück in F Major for Four Horns and Orchestra, op. 86. While the warm, round sound of the horns was a unique pleasure, some technical difficulties undermined their performance. Overcoming an instrument with dozens of feet of tubing played with one’s fist stuffed into a bell facing away from the audience is understandably challenging. While they tended to play behind the beat with heads buried downward into their stands, there were a number of inexcusable accuracy issues. To be fair, intonation inconsistencies might have been exacerbated by the extreme humidity spike through the afternoon. Perhaps the Friday and Saturday performances will be more satisfactory as the work seemed under-rehearsed.
Anne Midgette, From the NSO and Märkl, Schumann With Verve (Washington Post, May 15)
This concert will be repeated this evening (May 16, 8 pm) in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The next major concert from the NSO will feature conductor Mikko Franck and soprano Karita Mattila (June 25 to 27).