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On Christmas Eve, 2010, the New York String Orchestra, under the able direction of Jaime Laredo, presented the first of two holiday concerts at Carnegie Hall. Although not quite up to the level of recent concerts by, say, the Juilliard Orchestra or the Mannes Orchestra, this was an enjoyable, short program, lasting about an hour, with no intermission. It opened with a charming account of Mozart's sparkling, perennially popular Overture to his operatic masterpiece, Cosi fan tutte. The celebrated soloists, Jennifer Koh and Benjamin Hochman, took the stage to perfom Felix Mendelssohn's appealing if slight Concerto for Violin, Piano, and Strings in D Minor, written when the composer was 14. The likable rendition here held its own against that of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra with Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk heard in New York last summer. Mozart's magnificent "Paris" Symphony provided a compelling, if unexceptionable, close to this buoyant evening.
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