REVIEW: La Jolla Music Society’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ glitters and gleams at SummerFest

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Marcus Overton
August 22, 2018

Full disclosure first: the doors of music were opened for me with the first notes of Ravel’s “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” as I struggled to play the high-lying French horn passage that opened the orchestral transcription being rehearsed by a community orchestra in Rome, Georgia.

I was 15 years old. That wonderful musical landscape was expanded by Debussy and Fauré and, later, by Chausson and Saint-Saëns. Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven were all wonderful, when they came along, but when difficult times demand solace, it is French music that clears the mind and renews the spirit.

At its best, French music offers spring-water clarity, emotional freshness, and an opportunity for performers to create and sustain an atmosphere of balance, repose and restraint.

All those virtues, and more, were on rich display in La Jolla Music Society SummerFest’s “Midnight in Paris” concert Tuesday evening in UC San Diego’s Conrad Prebys Concert Hall.