Violinist Shaham makes SummerFest finale magic

James Conlon
San Diego Tribune

Timbres that would be softened in a symphony hall popped out. Bass pizzicati sounded like tuned drums. Flute and clarinet solos stood out in distinct relief from the strings. Muted trumpets had more edge, low horns more sharpness.

None of this would have mattered had the musicians not played superbly. James Conlon conducted masterfully; tempos, balances and ensemble work were precise. He supported Shaham with an appropriate tone for each movement: mysterious in the first, sweet and naive in the second, and brusquely humorous in the last.