from
The Albuquerque Journal
June 1, 2003


"There was magic in the air as the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque finished its season. Conductor David Oberg, the musicians of the orchestra and, above all, guest artist Jeffrey Chappell took flight in playing as fresh as a spring night. It is tempting to suggest that Chappell was the magician behind the spell. Clearly, everyone contributed, but there was an infectious grace to his art. It fell easily upon the ears, slipping into the heart like an enchantment. He caught the essence of Mozart´s classical style in fluid, transparent playing of tensile strength and radiant ease, always balanced, never a muscle showing. The sharpness of his rhythmic sense and the seeming spontaneity of his responses carried echoes of the jazz world. This freshness was particularly true in the bare, exposed lines of the second movement, which Chappell infused with wonder as if hearing them for the first time. That movement´s close turned into a gossamer illusion, the upward piano scale dissolving into thin air. In the third movement, he treated each return of the rondo theme as a delicious surprise. His composer side went for a romp in the cadenzas. Chappell created his own, effectively entering Mozart´s sensibility in a seamless join. The extended first movement cadenza unfolded with theatrical dash, a finely balanced mix of lyrical moments, decorative spins, spicy bits of counterpoint, and dramatic eruptions like lightening flashes that, in true Mozartean fashion, would dissolve as suddenly as they came."

Joanne Sheehy Hoover

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