In the spotlight...
Bramwell Tovey savors 'Music and Humor' at the Bowl...
Bramwell Tovey at the Hollywood Bowl in 2010
Bramwell Tovey at the Hollywood Bowl in 2010

'Music and Humor'

After experiencing Bramwell Tovey as a regular guest conductor and quipster in chief at the Hollywood Bowl all these seasons, you knew he would be right at home in a program called "Music and Humor."

That's what he has been doing all along to some extent, only on Thursday night, it had an official label.

And run with it he did — right off the bat with a topical jab directed to an empty chair.

Tovey then took on a masterwork of musical humor, Richard Strauss' "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," leading the audience by the hand through the piece at the piano from beginning to end. He is a more mischievous teacher than, say, Leonard Bernstein was but just as illuminating, and his deliberately paced performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic brought out as much detail as the sound system would allow.

Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" was equipped with Ogden Nash's text — and who better to do the narration than Tovey himself, who savored the outrageous rhymes with British relish. Inon Barnatan and Benjamin Hochman were the duo pianists...

Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times
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