Dvorak's Serenade was, however, quite good. Lipsky's phrasing let the strings sing, while his judicious use of tempo rubato held the forms together. The result was a performance of considerable charm, though, sadly, not much depth. A full-sized string section and more rehearsal time would likely have helped. But Lipsky himself stayed on top of the music rather than getting inside it, so the Tempo di waltz was much too dry while the Larghetto was far too subdued.
One hopes for more in Mahler. But while the symphony will surely field more players, whether they'll allow sufficient rehearsal time is still an open question.
[Originally published in April, 2011.]