Music Reviews : Zubin Mehta With Israel Philharmonic at Pavilion

The combination of Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is not a new one, but it is self-renewing and it was heard to best advantage in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center on Sunday night. Through the years, the orchestra’s playing has invariably been of high quality, but not always as good as one would have liked or expected.

This time any such reservation would seem out of order. The orchestra was in fine shape--consistently solid and reliable. It responded to the conductor’s wishes with alacrity and spontaneity. It had neither to strain or to restrain to achieve a desired effect.

The rich, full-orchestra sound had both flexibility and stability. The rhythmic response proved alert and sharp edged.

The program’s first half was a repeat of the agenda performed in Orange County on Saturday and reviewed in these pages on Monday. Sunday, it remained for Schubert’s “Great” C-major Symphony to give full rein to the conductor’s expansive imagination and his careful marshaling of forces. His tempos were judicious; they never rushed, yet were never allowed to linger excessively. The whole scheme became pervasively joyous and exuberant.

The admirers of the Israel Philharmonic and of the conductor jammed the Pavilion and exploded regularly with enthusiasm.