(Spano welcomes back the chorus for the last concerts of the season.)
The concert opened with Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” – a gratifying breath of late classicism played with precision by the orchestra. After the near boisterous tenor of the first movement, the restraint in the languid second movement was striking. Here, the ASO took its time, relishing the spiraling violin lines and the woodwind filigree. The ensemble passed musical themes through the orchestra with ease, meticulously matching the shape and attack of each phrase.
Mozart wrote the fourth movement as a carefree romp that places an emphatic exclamation point on the work. While it begins at a whisper in the violins, frolicking along at a strong clip, the music quickly ascends to a full-throated shout. The orchestra played with a balanced, joyous sound that made this oft-performed symphony a delight to hear.
The night, however, belonged to the ASO Chorus. During a symphony season, there are ebbs and flows, benchmark performances surrounded by concerts that are intriguing but may not be must-see performances. When the ASO Chorus takes the Symphony Hall stage, the concert is rarely anything other than a must-attend performance.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
8 p.m. Feb. 21. Additional performance at 8 p.m. Feb. 23. Sold out. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-5000, atlantasymphony.org.
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