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Concerts: previews / reviews

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It was a fun concert. A little light, but fun.

The big takeaway for me was this - what the fuck is C-Minor, anyway. The Beethoven piano concerto is, supposedly, in C-minor, but I remain skeptical that it was really in anything minor. That guy...

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Earlier today .... :

The impressive Lilya Zilberstein (p) with Liszt/Schumann @ Liszt Festival Raiding, Austria ....

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Sunday matinee at DSO:

Donald Runnicles CONDUCTS
Kelley O’Connor MEZZO-SOPRANO
Russell Thomas TENOR

MOZART

Symphony No. 38, “Prague”

MAHLER

The Song of the Earth (Das Lied von der Erde)

This Runnicles guy, he gets results! It's the most engageable Mozart I've yet to encounter (and also the trickiest. And the Mahler was magical. "Life is dark and so is death." And there it goes!

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Herd this last night at SMU:

SCHUMANN QUARTET and ESCHER QUARTET
featuring a performance of the MENDELSSOHN OCTET

The Schumann Quartet will perform:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in B-flat major, Op.18, No.6 (1799-1800)

The Escher Quartet will perform:

  • Samuel Barber: String Quartet in B minor, Op.11 (1935-6)

The Schumann and the Escher Quartets will perform together:

  • Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, Op.20 (1825

First impressions still fairly strong this AM:

  1. That particular Beethoven Quartet is a true delight, and the Schumann Quartet kept it fluid the entire time Subtleties of time and dynamics created surprise after surprise. What a work, what a band.
  2. Hearing two different quartets back to back like this was a revelation. The Schumann, to play Beethoven, was light and fluid. Escher playing Barber just roared, omg, GRRRROWWWWLLLLLL!!!! Also the two quartets had slightly different intonations, so when one stepped into the mental space just vacated by the other, there was a very real time/space jolt, like "okay, we're going to vibrate HERE now". Kind of a rush, really. live music strikes again.
  3. That Mendelssohn Octet should be made into a theme park ride. It's that much fun.

Definitely music worth leaving the house for. Definitely!

Young folk as well!

Schumann:

Schumann-Quartett-4_Kaupo-Kikkas_s.jpg

Escher:

Escher-String-Quartet-4_credit-Sarah-Ski

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DSO last night:

JOHN ADAMS CONDUCTS JOHN ADAMS

JOHN ADAMS CONDUCTS
LEILA JOSEFOWICZ VIOLIN
EMILY LEVIN HARP

JOHN ADAMS Short Ride in a Fast Machine
JOHN ADAMS Violin Concerto
DEBUSSY Sacred & Profane Dances
RESPIGHI Roman Festivals (Feste romane)

Haven't been following John Adams too much, have yet to engage with contemporary opera, and still need convincing about post-Glass-ian "minimalist" ethos. The opener made a mild case to persuade, but it was the vilion concerto that blew the door wide open. My god what a piece itself + Leila Josefowicz was not going to let it go with anything less than a searing necessity of being there and doing this.

First time hearing a harp in front of an orchestra like this and it not either sitting in the back or sitting alone at a wedding reception or cocktail party. Wow, so much sound, pure sound, strong sound. And Debussy...great music played exceptionally well. I'd take more of this experience with no reservation.

Respighi was loud (duh), but the same piece was played here in 2016 with a different conductor, and I don't recall it sounding like this. Maybe it was Adam's conducting, maybe it was just the context of the lingering energies of the first half, but it seemed that the emphasis here was not on the showy "folk" flavors that are in there (that's what the 2016 guy did) but instead on the surging repetitive undercurrents that run though much of the pievce. Sorta seemed like Adams was connecting the dots, finding proton-minimilist ingredients in there. It worked, and splendidly.

The whole concert had a bracing, gripping quality to it that in my experience has been absent in most of the DSO shows this season as they await the beginning of the Fabio Luisi tenure. To be honest, I was not super motivated to go out last night, but hey, we had already paid for it, it was in the season package, and Leila Josefowicz, needed to hear her, so, hey, wtf not, right? The weather was ok and we hadn't done a whole lot during the day.

Turned out to be one helluva gig, the kind you never want to miss. Carpe diem!

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The weather sucked, but we went out anyway, glad we did.

Carlos Kalmar conducts

Karen Gomyo violin

Beethoven Coriolan Overture

Tchaikovsky

Violin Concerto

Walton

Symphony no. 1

Ms. Gomyo plays the original edition of the Tchaikovsky concerto, the one rejected by the original dedicatee as being too difficult, and perhaps, too  vulgar. I'm not at all big on Tchaikovsky in general, and this piece was no exception, except when the violin was playing, and then, there was  a riveting power unleashed that could not be resisted. A triumph of perfomance!

Walton's Symphony was unfamiliar to me. That has now been identified as a gap of my own doing, and one that must be remedied with all due haste. What a fine piece of music!

The weather still sucked after it was over, but we went home anyway. Glad we did.

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Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden, conductor
Louis Lortie, pianist

 

Schumann: Piano Concerto
Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Jaap does Mahler - 'nuff said.

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Tonight, the Pavel Haas Quartet will perform:

  • Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F-sharp minor, Op.108 (1960)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 (1960)
  • Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No.14 in A-flat major, Op.105 (1895)

And I will be there to hear it. Unless something really bad happens.

 

Pavel-Haas-Quartet-3_Marco-Borggreve_s.j

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Always good to be there. 

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I took note that 2/3 of the program was provably less than 100 years old.

I also took note that the same could not be said about the audience. :mellow:

 

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13 hours ago, JSngry said:

Tonight, the Pavel Haas Quartet will perform:

  • Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F-sharp minor, Op.108 (1960)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 (1960)
  • Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No.14 in A-flat major, Op.105 (1895)

And I will be there to hear it. Unless something really bad happens.

 

Pavel-Haas-Quartet-3_Marco-Borggreve_s.j

Very good ensemble .... 

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very good concert too!

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6 hours ago, JSngry said:

very good concert too!

I bet .... 

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It's gonna be string quartets out the ass as

The Dallas Chamber Music Society Celebrates 75 Years in the 2019-2020 Season:

http://www.dallaschambermusic.org/75th-season/

62fc23-20170718-dover-quartet-02.jpg

The Dover Quartet
Mon | Oct 21 | 2019
Beethoven, Shostakovich
David Bruce commission world-premiere

03-slsq_photo-cmarco_borggreve_0.jpg

The St. Lawrence String Quartet
Mon | Nov 18 | 2019
Beethoven, Balliet and Brahms

Doric-string-2014-1024x682.jpg

The Doric String Quartet
Mon | Feb 10 | 2020
Haydn, Britten and Sibelius

1_1_JQ_2015_001-1083x800.jpg

The Jerusalem String Quartet
Mon | March 23 | 2020
Mozart, Korngold and Brahms

harlem-quartet-1.jpg86f5b105fdb6620e535f7a5ad20cdb00.jpg

The Harlem String Quartet
with pianist Michael Brown

Mon | May 4 | 2020
Gavilan, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Strayhorn

spek2.jpg-.jpeg

Spektral Quartet Residency
Feb 29 – March 6, 2020

As part of our commitment to student education, DCMS has initiated a collaboration with three universities, UNT, SMU and UTD, to host a residency of the Spektral Quartet from February 29-March 6, 2020, giving the students an extraordinary opportunity to work with this quartet that, through their innovation, has done so much to expand the world of the string quartet. Exact dates and times for events are still being finalized but will include side-by-side performance opportunities for students, master classes, reading sessions of student composers’ works by the Spektral Quartet, and concerts. More details will be released soon!

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31 minutes ago, JSngry said:

It's gonna be string quartets out the ass as

The Dallas Chamber Music Society Celebrates 75 Years in the 2019-2020 Season:

http://www.dallaschambermusic.org/75th-season/

62fc23-20170718-dover-quartet-02.jpg

The Dover Quartet
Mon | Oct 21 | 2019
Beethoven, Shostakovich
David Bruce commission world-premiere

03-slsq_photo-cmarco_borggreve_0.jpg

The St. Lawrence String Quartet
Mon | Nov 18 | 2019
Beethoven, Balliet and Brahms

Doric-string-2014-1024x682.jpg

The Doric String Quartet
Mon | Feb 10 | 2020
Haydn, Britten and Sibelius

1_1_JQ_2015_001-1083x800.jpg

The Jerusalem String Quartet
Mon | March 23 | 2020
Mozart, Korngold and Brahms

harlem-quartet-1.jpg86f5b105fdb6620e535f7a5ad20cdb00.jpg

The Harlem String Quartet
with pianist Michael Brown

Mon | May 4 | 2020
Gavilan, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Strayhorn

spek2.jpg-.jpeg

Spektral Quartet Residency
Feb 29 – March 6, 2020

As part of our commitment to student education, DCMS has initiated a collaboration with three universities, UNT, SMU and UTD, to host a residency of the Spektral Quartet from February 29-March 6, 2020, giving the students an extraordinary opportunity to work with this quartet that, through their innovation, has done so much to expand the world of the string quartet. Exact dates and times for events are still being finalized but will include side-by-side performance opportunities for students, master classes, reading sessions of student composers’ works by the Spektral Quartet, and concerts. More details will be released soon!

WOW! You're a lucky guy.
(BTW - the last photo is pretty amazing.)

Edited by paul secor

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Yeah, we're kinda buzzed. We early-birded two season tickets and got 4 for the price of 5.

We've seen Dover Quartet twice, and I swear, if I was gonna "deadhead" anybody right now, it would be those guys. If they come anywhere near you, do what you gotta do to be there. Trust me on this one.

Apart from that, if anybody's looking for some unfamiliar music to get into, string quartets are meaty (in all kinds of ways), especially rep from, say, Beethoven forward, especially from the late 1800's on, and especially, especially, live. Don't trust a record to get it right, ever, but especially with this stuff. Do the work, get there early, and sit right down as far in it as you can get.

Just go see some meaty meat, not the wedding reception wedding food type.

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Last night at the Myerson:

JOHN STORGÅRDS CONDUCTS

AUGUSTIN HADELICH VIOLIN

HAYDN Symphony No. 94, “Surprise”

SIBELIUS Violin Concerto

NIELSEN Symphony No. 5

The Surprise is anything but. However, there's a reason it keeps getting played, I guess. It's sturdy as fuck, built for the long haul. But still...

Hadelich played the shit out of Sibelius, and gave a little lagniappe with a Paganini Caprice 24.

My main reason for coming was to hear Nielsen 5 performed live. This were just a teence shaky at the beginning, but pulled together quickly enough, after which, there it was. What a great work!

I did notice though, some of the audience seemed a bit, uh...impatient with it as it went along. And opening night it seems that people just left rather than have to even begin to hear it:

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/classical-music/2019/04/05/carl-nielsen-symphony-scared-dallas-symphony-patrons-missed-exciting-performance

http://www.theaterjones.com/ntx/solunainternationalmusicartsfestival2019/20190406155451/2019-04-06/Soluna-Review-Sibelius-Violin-Concerto

I mean, wtf people? This is not a difficult piece to follow if you just let it do what it do. "Bewildering"? SERIOUSLY? Seems to me that the only "problem" is if you expect music to ask but a few questions, and then for those that do get asked get answered right away. Well, Nielsen pretty much said fuck all that, we're gonna let things stew a little while, things are going to get knottier before they get smoother, and when they do, it's not going to be some sort of "triumph", it's going to be a natural resolutions, what with scars and all that shit.

But the materials themselves are not difficult to hear and to follow. If this is all it takes to make people run...one more problem in a world already done gone wrong.

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I don't think that behavior is uncommon among subscription symphony ticket buyers (a musically conservative lot). In my experience, NY Philharmonic audiences (notoriously conservative) would have done exactly the same thing, and even at Carnegie Hall there would have been significant intermission departures. The sequencing and strategic placement ;) of the intermission suggests that the Dallas Symphony knew full well what would happen.

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But jesus - Nielsen??????

That music is not that fucking hard to follow. Not at all. It's got melodies out the ass for crying out loud!

As for the sequencing, yes, of course.http://www.theaterjones.com/ntx/solunainternationalmusicartsfestival2019/20190406155451/2019-04-06/Soluna-Review-Sibelius-Violin-Concerto

The Dallas Symphony opened this weekend’s series of approach-avoidance concerts on Thursday night in the Meyerson Symphony Center, kicking off the fifth annual Soluna: International Music & Arts Festival. The hall was packed for the first ”approach” half, Haydn’s “Surprise” symphony and the Sibelius Violin Concerto, but shifted for the second half to the “avoidance” side of the fence, with Carl Nielsen’s bewildering fifth symphony. This was easily observable on Thursday evening as the audience thinned out dramatically during intermission.

This vacating effect was somewhat surprising because the music of Carl Nielsen is rarely preformed these days and the fifth symphony appears on programs even less than the rest of his oeuvre. It is, indeed, a difficult symphony to hear and digest with its bizarre structure, modernist harmony, conflicting elements, and lack of an earworm. But apparently, Dallas audiences knew what was coming and fled the hall in droves. I was reminded of a quip of dance impresario Sol Hurok: “When people don't want to come, nothing will stop them.”

That critic...grrrrrr....that audience....grrrrrrrr....is it any wonder that life in the 21st Century is so dysfunctional? We still don't want to deal with the 20th....

GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

 

 

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29 minutes ago, JSngry said:

...

That critic...grrrrrr....that audience....grrrrrrrr....is it any wonder that life in the 21st Century is so dysfunctional? We still don't want to deal with the 20th....

GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

 

 

It ain't just the critic or the audience, it can be the hall itself!

Anecdote: right around the turn of the century (the late) Michael Gielen, a big advocate of contemporary music, conducted a German orchestra in a couple of adventurous programs at Carnegie Hall. One was B. A. Zimmermann's Requiem for a Young Poet (very much out there), the other included music by Maurico Kagel and Gyorgy Kurtag plus Beethoven's Eroica Symphony (fairly out there with a sop to tradition).

In line to buy a ticket, I overheard a conversation between a customer and a box office employee. The ticket seller behind the counter said, referring to the Beethoven/Kagel/Kurtag program: "You probably won't be interested in this German dud..." :P

Edited by T.D.

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We attended a concert at Carnegie Hall featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet and the Shirley Horn Trio. Brubeck played first since he had an upstate New York gig the next day and at least a third of the audience left after his set. This was when Horn was only singing since she had recently had a leg amputated, but people who left missed some great music. 

I also attended a Vladimir Horowitz concert in a Jewish temple in Miami Beach in the late 1970s. People streamed for the exits after the program ended, although he did three encores. Not everyone stayed for all three numbers, evidently grabbing a bite to eat was more important than the rare opportunity to hear Vladimir Horowitz in person.

 

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In fairness to the Saturday Dallas audience, I didn't notice any mass defections during intermission. There was some "discomfort" though, which...oh well. At least they stayed. And at the end of the evening, there was some noticeable enthusiasm as well. All in all, if they can afford to do more "approach-avoidance" concerts, I hope they do, although god, I do hope they pre-opt any description that defaults to "here's something you're probably NOT going to want to hear". It's a good thing to go to a symphony concert that presents the prickly. Life is prickly, deal with it!

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I've gone to a handful classical concerts where some big Mozart thing was on the second half, and my wife and I have not come back after the intermission.  Same with Haydn.

We used to go to a four or five weekend chamber-music series every summer in Kanas City, that invariably had some classical-era biggie as the main (last) feature on one concert in the series (and thankfully it was nearly always after the intermission) -- and we usually stayed for it about half the years.

A couple of the musicians (Kansas City Symphony musicians) -- who we knew (because I was in the KC Symphony chorus for 10 years, but especially the ones we knew best were those we had play in our wedding in 2001) -- a couple of those musicians caught us sneaking out, and they were perplexed for an instant that we weren't staying, until they remembered all the wild, late-romantic era stuff we programmed on our wedding (all the antithesis of Mozart and Haydn), and I remember them realizing it was us and saying "oh, yeah, right - it's Mozart". :P

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We'll stay home rather than just catch half a gig. I've still not heard nowhere near enough symphonic music live to miss the opportunity to hear something I want to hear live, even if it means sitting through something less, uh..."interesting" in order to do so. We got a damn good band here right now, and we are carpe-dieming.

However...this weekend...think we're staying home. If anybody in the area wants the tickets, let me know.

James Gaffigan CONDUCTS
Yefim Bronfman PIANO
Mané Galoyan SOPRANO
Sergey Skorokhodov TENOR
Andrei Bondarenko BARITONE
Dallas Symphony Chorus: Joshua Habermann DIRECTOR

RACHMANINOFF The Bells (Kolokola)

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

Can somebody talk me into this one?

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:
 

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

Can somebody talk me into this one?

There's always the chance that they'll shoot off real cannons at the end.  That's always a thrill...

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