Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A little music
After work I headed down to PdA and grabbed a last minute seat for the MSO. I was expecting a balcony ticket, but got one on the corbeille for $25 tax in. The lady on my left smelled vaguely of pancakes, the overly-tall fellow on my right (with binoculars) smelled a bit like Richard....still miss the way he smells... yes, pathetic, moving on.
Kent Nagano was in da house (ok, I'll stop that), which was entertaining for the flying hair alone. The program started with the premiere of a new piece by Gilles Tremblay. Tremblay was in da house (ok, I'll really stop this time, I promise!), and Nagano addressed him and told him what a personal influence he'd been growing up. It was touching, and I understood every word thanks to Nagano's anglo accent speaking French. The piece was commissioned by Radio France, L'Origine, for mezzo-soprano and orchestra.
Well, I didn't get it, or maybe I should say it wasn't my style. It had energy, but it was cacophonous, meant to be a commentary on society I suppose. According to the words the soprano was singing (she was lovely by the way, but hard to hear), the message was supposed to be positive, but I, and I have to say my seatmates, were not impressed. There was one woman in the front who loved it, but I'm pretty sure she would have given a standing ovation to paint on a wall. When you have all these instruments that can make such beautiful sounds, why waste your time producing something that sounds like a city street? You could go outside for that.
Now Beethoven, he knew what to do with an orchestra. Till Fellner was the guest pianist and impressed the pants off us with Piano Concerto no 1 in C major. It was a truly memorable main event. He'll be back playing the Orford festival according to the program.
The evening ended with some Brahms, lulling in the middle to the point of making me drowsy, but then a nice smashy, conductor crazy flying hair, all the string musicians pulling out the last ounce of energy from their arm muscles, ending.
And another highlight of my evening - I parked in a spot that wouldn't let me pay - the machine said that I couldn't park there, but it wasn't marked, and I didn't get a ticket, so free parking!