Pianist Perlman delivers steady, exciting piece

Itzhak Perlman is not the only talented person in his family. His daughter, pianist Navah Perlman, joined the Las Vegas Philharmonic on Saturday, showing her own style and charm.

Perlman and the orchestra, under the direction of musical director David Itkin, offered Beethoven's "Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37."

The pianist worked through the complex piece with gentle reserve and an understated, but dynamic, flair.

Perlman was a calm, graceful presence onstage. She does not command attention. Rather, she requests it with an even, light touch on the keyboard. Trills and runs are offered as if they should be expected.

Emphasis came not from the bobbing of her head or grand arm motions, but from the music itself. Those who want flash and drama would be disappointed, but few could complain about the steady, exciting presentation of the work itself.

After intermission, the orchestra returned with Rachmaninoff's "Symphony No. 3, Op. 44."

The allegro opened with bravura, rolling into an easy richness, allowing the musicians to take a quick, big bite of music before settling into the dynamic task at hand.

The second movement held surprises as it suddenly moved from the typically moderate, layered tones of an adagio to a crisp, fast-paced section within a section. Bold, with striking percussion, the up-tempo challenge disappeared as soon as it arrived.

The final movement brought back the liveliness, with point/counterpoint and a startling sprint, as Itkin asked and the musicians responded.

It all built to a dramatic, nearly breathless conclusion.