In reuniting the pianist and the Falla music, Dutoit was doing an enormous musical service, for the music had unaccountably vanished from programs here. This pianist is probably the best interpreter of its visual and poetic writing. She played it with a blend of impetuous vigor and limpid songfulness, and Dutoit's orchestra seemed invigorated by rediscovering the music.
Every instrument is a solo voice, every section a strongly defined character in a romantic and wordless opera. The crossing meters, the intricate dialogues within the orchestra - and within the piano writing - were presented clearly and musically. This was a performance that transcended the sometimes acoustical dullness and the sound of air traffic at the Mann. It was simply an exalted reading of brilliantly colored music.
De Larrocha had applied the same individual strength to Turina's visual piece. Very Spanish, and very French, the music emerged with its fiber, wit and glow intact. Her own vivacious playing was matched by solos from within the orchestra, and the full string playing had a sweep that was irresistible.
When Dutoit led the orchestra and Choral Arts Society through Daphnis, he was leading the first complete performance at the Mann. The full ballet takes the time to fill in all the pastel scenes of Ravel's view of Greek pastoral myth. It offers a clearer view of its musical logic, too.
Even in this outdoor setting, the music's shadings, the inner slips of light and dark, the sudden brilliant flashes proclaimed their own magical power. Dutoit and the orchestra balanced a sense of freedom and precision in
finding the inner power of this score.