O. Schoeck, Sommernacht (inter alia), Berner Symphonieorchester, M. Venzago (Musiques Suisses, 2015)
The Gluck set included the overture and several dances, plus a chaconne and finale, with a concentrated number of players, including a harpsichord for the continuo part and, somewhat mysteriously, a part for harp. The modern brass instruments had to play in a rather contained way, so as not to overwhelm the ensemble, revealing many delightful sounds, especially the hypnotic Elysium number and an ornately beautiful flute solo in the Siciliana. Gluck premiered this opera in Paris in 1777, the same year that Mozart composed his ninth piano concerto, K. 27, in Salzburg for Victoire Jenamy, the daughter of dancer and choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre. It is a jewel of a piece, given a pretty if not always easily flowing account by pianist André Watts. Venzago kept the orchestra at just the right levels to allow his soloist to come to the fore, making many little adjustments to realign the ensemble. Watts performed the cadenzas and other solo moments with some panache, but this was not exactly a rendition to be remembered, although the third movement had a daring spirit.
Tim Smith, BSO welcomes back Andre Watts, Mario Venzago (Baltimore Sun, February 6)
This concert repeats this evening, at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.