Author Topic: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)  (Read 363133 times)

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Offline Bunny

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2007, 06:20:15 PM »
Tonight:

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, Conductor
Simona Šaturová, Soprano
Yvonne Naef, Mezzo-Soprano
The Philadelphia Singers Chorale
David Hayes, Director

--Bruce


Just came home from this.  Excellent, excellent, excellent, although I did miss the organ in the finale.  I don't know if they have an electronic organ, but I sure do miss the old pipe organ they used to have.  If the organ was playing, it didn't have the heft of a regular one.  If there is an organ in Carnegie Hall I wish someone would let me know where they are keeping it.  You used to be able to see the pipes in the back of the stage years ago, but now they are nowhere in evidence.  I know at one time there was an electronic organ there that was similar to the one in the Riverside Church.

Just to let everyone know, there was another standing ovation in Carnegie, and they deserved it.  Eschenbach conducted without a score, which is the first time in a long time that I've seen a conductor do that for Mahler!  More often for Mozart or Beethoven or any of the shorter symphonies.  Tonight, unfortunately, I wanted to throw some mentos at some unknown individual (couldn't find the ricola at the bottom of my handbag), but my hubby prevented me from launching the missiles.  Tragically, towards the end of the 1st movement, there was someone with a cellphone ringing a few rows behind us.  Hopefully Bruce wasn't in the same part of the auditorium and it didn't bother him the way it did everyone in my section.  It really was a mood breaker and afterwards there was coughing, throat clearing and the noise of people shifting in their seats. >:(

Luckily it was close to the end of the 1st movement, and everyone was able to settle down for the rest of the symphony.  Btw, there was no intermission -- just a few minutes pause between the 1st and 2nd movements.  The 3rd, 4th, and 5th movements flowed into each other seamlessly. The Urlicht was sung beautifully and the climax was as thrilling as I could wish.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2007, 07:42:56 PM by Bunny »

Choo Choo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2007, 01:18:08 AM »
Interesting.  I heard Eschenbach conduct Bruckner #8, and thought it one of the very worst I'd heard.  But his recent CD of Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony is probably the best I've heard.  So maybe he's just variable.  Certainly the Philadelphians have been in rare form in recent years, if the downloads from their site are anything to go by.

Glad you enjoyed the concert.  A fine Resurrection is indeed an experience to savour.  (My first was Tennstedt - still remember it.)

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2007, 06:36:59 AM »
Just came home from this.  Excellent, excellent, excellent, although I did miss the organ in the finale.  I don't know if they have an electronic organ, but I sure do miss the old pipe organ they used to have.  If the organ was playing, it didn't have the heft of a regular one.  If there is an organ in Carnegie Hall I wish someone would let me know where they are keeping it.  You used to be able to see the pipes in the back of the stage years ago, but now they are nowhere in evidence.  I know at one time there was an electronic organ there that was similar to the one in the Riverside Church.

Just to let everyone know, there was another standing ovation in Carnegie, and they deserved it.  Eschenbach conducted without a score, which is the first time in a long time that I've seen a conductor do that for Mahler!  More often for Mozart or Beethoven or any of the shorter symphonies.  Tonight, unfortunately, I wanted to throw some mentos at some unknown individual (couldn't find the ricola at the bottom of my handbag), but my hubby prevented me from launching the missiles.  Tragically, towards the end of the 1st movement, there was someone with a cellphone ringing a few rows behind us.  Hopefully Bruce wasn't in the same part of the auditorium and it didn't bother him the way it did everyone in my section.  It really was a mood breaker and afterwards there was coughing, throat clearing and the noise of people shifting in their seats. >:(

Luckily it was close to the end of the 1st movement, and everyone was able to settle down for the rest of the symphony.  Btw, there was no intermission -- just a few minutes pause between the 1st and 2nd movements.  The 3rd, 4th, and 5th movements flowed into each other seamlessly. The Urlicht was sung beautifully and the climax was as thrilling as I could wish.

Lovely write-up, Bunny!  I totally agree, first with missing the organ a bit.  Carnegie must be one of the few of the world's great halls that is missing an organ, and in pieces like this one, it's a bit of a shame.  You could hear the organ a bit, but it didn't have nearly the power that it should have had.  But never mind!  Everything else was utterly shattering. 

A favorite moment: in the final movement, the first huge percussion crescendo, with the snare drum louder...louder...and then even much louder than some in the hall probably expected.  Eschenbach drew out this sequence to a rather insane length, but it was so thrilling I didn't care.  The first entrance of the chorus -- one of my favorite moments in music, period -- was about as magical as it gets, and the two singers were excellent, especially the mezzo.

Considering the very public problems between Eschenbach and the orchestra, this must have been a little bit of sweet validation for him.  Certainly he and everyone onstage deserved the ovation.

I did hear that cellphone, far away from my seat in the center balcony, but thankfully was able to forget about it soon after.  What was marginally more bothersome for awhile upstairs was the sound of a truck backing up on 57th Street, outside, coming through an open door on the side.  (Carnegie was built long before principles of total sound isolation found their way into concert hall design.)  Anyway, a thoughtful patron stood up and v-e-r-y q-u-i-e-t-l-y closed it.  I wish I could have thanked him for his little good deed for the day. 

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2007, 07:26:19 AM »
Tomorrow night, Aimard in (yet another) fascinating evening:

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano
Tamara Stefanovich, Piano
Daniel Ciampolini, Percussion
Joseph Gramley, Percussion

PETER EÖTVÖS Kosmos for 2 Pianos
GYÖRGY KURTÁG Selections from Játékok
STEVE REICH Clapping Music
LIGETI "Fém" from Études pour piano, No. 8 (adapted for piano and percussion)
NANCARROW Studies for Player Piano Nos. 2 & 9 (arr. for two pianos)
AIMARD (arr.) "Počme de chambre", after Ligeti's Počme symphonique for 100 Metronomes
LIGETI "Fanfares" from Études pour piano, No. 4 (adapted for piano and percussion)
BARTÓK Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Online Cato

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2007, 07:28:35 AM »
Bruckner's 8th Symphony in the Roman Catholic cathedral in Toledo, performed by the Toledo Symphony.

Playing a Bruckner symphony there once a year has become a new tradition for the orchestra.

And that's in Buckeye Land, dudes, not that other town in Old Europe!   ;D

Just bought the ticket, paid for by my sons: early Father's Day present!  Nice, well-behaved 20-somethings!   0:)     0:)

GMG member Toledobass might be able to tell us how rehearsals are going!
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline Bunny

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2007, 07:34:02 AM »
Thanks for the kind words, Bruce!

I wonder if this one is going to be recorded?  It certainly sounds ready for the can, and would be a worthy follow-up for their great Mahler 6th.  Whatever one has to say about Eschenbach, it cannot be denied that the man is one of the great Mahler conductors around today.  The Mahler 4th I heard earlier in the season with the same forces did not have the same sheen or polish that this one had.  If I could pick out the biffs and rough patches in that, then it really needed more rehearsal.  It also suffered from a soloist who didn't have enough volume although from what I could hear, her voice was silvery and with good range for the song.

Lovely write-up, Bunny!  I totally agree, first with missing the organ a bit.  Carnegie must be one of the few of the world's great halls that is missing an organ, and in pieces like this one, it's a bit of a shame.  You could hear the organ a bit, but it didn't have nearly the power that it should have had.  But never mind!  Everything else was utterly shattering. 

A favorite moment: in the final movement, the first huge percussion crescendo, with the snare drum louder...louder...and then even much louder than some in the hall probably expected.  Eschenbach drew out this sequence to a rather insane length, but it was so thrilling I didn't care. The first entrance of the chorus -- one of my favorite moments in music, period -- was about as magical as it gets, and the two singers were excellent, especially the mezzo.

Considering the very public problems between Eschenbach and the orchestra, this must have been a little bit of sweet validation for him.  Certainly he and everyone onstage deserved the ovation.

I did hear that cellphone, far away from my seat in the center balcony, but thankfully was able to forget about it soon after.  What was marginally more bothersome for awhile upstairs was the sound of a truck backing up on 57th Street, outside, coming through an open door on the side.  (Carnegie was built long before principles of total sound isolation found their way into concert hall design.)  Anyway, a thoughtful patron stood up and v-e-r-y q-u-i-e-t-l-y closed it.  I wish I could have thanked him for his little good deed for the day. 

--Bruce

I'll bet Mahler would have approved of that variation from the score!  He was, from all I have read, an extremely dramatic conductor, and one who wasn't afraid to "make things his own."  Another great moment is after the Urlicht, when you hear the brass playing that great theme from Wagner.  It was an electrifying moment!  I was holding my breath and unable to breathe until the music "exhaled."  My husband was on the edge of his chair and the near hysterical woman on the other side of him had her eyes rolling back in her head!  (I wonder if she was able to get home safely.  Although I always find a Mahler symphony and transcendent experience, her reactions were so exaggerated that we both began to wonder if she were completely, well, sane. :o )   As soon as the music stopped, the audience erupted.  I'll bet it sounded thunderous up in the balcony, especially if you were in the music lovers' corner, where the applause snaps and explodes as it hits the back wall of the auditorium. 

I was lucky enough to be in one of those areas of the parquet which is right next to prime p. (cheaper and same sound ;D).  The outside noises are not particularly audible there, or in the first tier where we have our other subscriptions as soon as the ushers close the box door.  What is also abominable is the way the subway noises filter into Zankel Hall.  That hall is used for the Baroque series as well as other small ensemble groups and it is appallingly lacking in sound proofing.  The accoustic of the room is nothing to write home about, either.  Extremely bright and dead, despite all the wood panelling.  To have groups as wonderful as the The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra or the English Concert, or Le Concert des Nations (next season) competing with the sound of a subway train is awful.  I've sat all over that hall and have yet to find seats that offer great sound.  Yet, if I want to hear these wonderful authentic period instrument groups, I am stuck in Zankel.  The trustees of the organization should be shot for shortchanging the public when they converted the old cinema into that hall.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 07:35:36 AM by Bunny »

Don Giovanni

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2007, 08:32:40 AM »
I'm looking forward to the Proms this year. We have access to a box so I'm going to try and go to as many as possible.

I hope to see as much Mahler as I can. This year: symphonies 1, 3, 7, 9.


Anyone else going to the Proms?

Offline stingo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2007, 08:38:50 AM »
I'm quite jealous of Bruce and bunny who got to hear M2 - I really wanted to, but moved too late. As for recording, I hope they release it as a CD, but if they don't it will most likely appear as a downloadable file from the Philly Orchestra's website (in lossless FLAC!).

Michel

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2007, 09:24:59 AM »
Good lord, I forgot that the proms schedule is out. I have looked through and as usual too much popular crap that isn't worth it.

I will be going to one concert, however, that I can greatly looking forward to:

Bruckner 8 - Concertebouw Haitink

And I may go to his Wagner prom, just because it might "sound" nice.


Offline Novi

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2007, 09:39:26 AM »
Good lord, I forgot that the proms schedule is out. I have looked through and as usual too much popular crap that isn't worth it.

I haven't looked at the schedule proper, but from Choo Choo's post earlier on, there seem to be quite a few great concerts. Mind you, I agree that there's probably a lot of dross as well that Choo Choo didn't bother to post about.

Just been going through the programme for this year's BBC Proms. (I actually have a small dollop of cash this year so thought I might splurge a bit.)

Not much that appealed to me in the first month - but around the middle of August it suddenly steps up a notch, and in rapid succession we get:

   Haitink / Concertgebouw in Bruckner (#8)
   Barenboim / VPO in Bruckner (#4) / Schubert / Ligeti / Bartok
   Abbado / Lucerne Festival Orch in Mahler (#3)
   Gergiev / LSO in Prokofiev
   Jansons / BRSO in Sibelius / Honegger / Beethoven
   Vanska / Lahti SO in Sibelius
   Tilson Thomas / SFSO in Shostakovich (#5) / Mahler (#7)
   Chailly / Gewandhaus in Brahms (#4)
   Levine / Boston SO in Carter / Bartok / Brahms
   Aimard playing Ligeti

And these are just the ones that immediately struck the eye.  Plenty more good stuff too.  Looks like that cash won't be around long...

Anyone else up for any of this?

The Haitink Bruckner is definitely tasty, but the Mahler performances should be good too. Also the Vanska Sibelius. I saw him lead a very powerful Kullervo last year. We're getting Jansons and MTT up here in Edinburgh as well.

I'm looking forward to the Proms this year. We have access to a box so I'm going to try and go to as many as possible.

I hope to see as much Mahler as I can. This year: symphonies 1, 3, 7, 9.


Anyone else going to the Proms?


DG, how does a box work? Does it mean you have access to every performance?
Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den der heimlich lauschet.

Offline Bunny

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2007, 10:10:41 AM »
I'm quite jealous of Bruce and bunny who got to hear M2 - I really wanted to, but moved too late. As for recording, I hope they release it as a CD, but if they don't it will most likely appear as a downloadable file from the Philly Orchestra's website (in lossless FLAC!).

Oh my!  How soon would that be available for download! :D

Offline MishaK

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2007, 10:13:59 AM »
Bunny and Bruce, thanks for your write-ups. Wish I could have been there.

I heard Eschenbach conduct Bruckner #8, and thought it one of the very worst I'd heard. 

Really? When/where was this? I heard Eschenbach do the most magical Bruckner 8 I have ever heard with the NYPO a few years back (98/99 or so, I think). He is variable, though. I heard him do an atrociously distended Dvorak 9th as well.


Tomorrow night, Aimard in (yet another) fascinating evening:

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano
Tamara Stefanovich, Piano
Daniel Ciampolini, Percussion
Joseph Gramley, Percussion

PETER EÖTVÖS Kosmos for 2 Pianos
GYÖRGY KURTÁG Selections from Játékok
STEVE REICH Clapping Music
LIGETI "Fém" from Études pour piano, No. 8 (adapted for piano and percussion)
NANCARROW Studies for Player Piano Nos. 2 & 9 (arr. for two pianos)
AIMARD (arr.) "Počme de chambre", after Ligeti's Počme symphonique for 100 Metronomes
LIGETI "Fanfares" from Études pour piano, No. 4 (adapted for piano and percussion)
BARTÓK Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion

--Bruce


He's doing the same in Chicago this Sunday. Unfortunately, I will be on the West Coast, so I will have to miss it. But I will be back to hear Haitink's Tuesday night performance of Bruckner 7 with the CSO!  :D

Offline Bunny

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #52 on: May 09, 2007, 10:47:15 AM »
Interesting.  I heard Eschenbach conduct Bruckner #8, and thought it one of the very worst I'd heard.  But his recent CD of Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony is probably the best I've heard.  So maybe he's just variable.  Certainly the Philadelphians have been in rare form in recent years, if the downloads from their site are anything to go by.

Glad you enjoyed the concert.  A fine Resurrection is indeed an experience to savour.  (My first was Tennstedt - still remember it.)

I think Eschenbach can be variable.  The Mahler 2 last night was phenomenal.  His Mahler 4 from a few months ago was very indifferent.  It wasn't awful, but it felt like a work in progress: poor choice of soloist (Marisol Montalvo), and rough play from the orchestra which was surprising considering how well they sounded before the intermission when they did the Berg Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos.


The Bruckner 9th I heard him conduct a few weeks later was, again, totally wonderful -- incredible playing by the orchestra.  The Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with Gil Shaham was also executed extremely well even though it was a last minute substitution when Quasthoff had to withdraw at the last moment because of the "flu."  He had been scheduled to sing the Kindertoten Lieder. (Boy am I sorry about that!)

Don Giovanni

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #53 on: May 09, 2007, 11:21:37 AM »


DG, how does a box work? Does it mean you have access to every performance?

The company that my dad works for played a role in the construction of the Royal Albert Hall. They have their own box there and they get tickets for 90% of the performances (and nearly every prom). I've been going to the proms for about two years and this year looks like the one I will enjoy the most - last year didn't really have anything spectacular.


The Haitink Bruckner is definitely tasty, but the Mahler performances should be good too. Also the Vanska Sibelius. I saw him lead a very powerful Kullervo last year. We're getting Jansons and MTT up here in Edinburgh as well.


I saw Haitink do Mahler's 2nd about a year ago. All I can say is that it was phenomenal.

Offline stingo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #54 on: May 09, 2007, 04:07:39 PM »
Yes Eschenbach can indeed be variable - when he's on his A-game, there's very few that equal or surpass him. If he's not... well... let's just say the difference is very notable.

Offline Bunny

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #55 on: May 09, 2007, 08:12:11 PM »
Yes Eschenbach can indeed be variable - when he's on his A-game, there's very few that equal or surpass him. If he's not... well... let's just say the difference is very notable.

It's funny, after the Mahler 4th which I had found disappointing, my husband, who had only heard it before when Rattle conducted the Berliners, said, "Now I know why you didn't like Rattle's performance.  This was so much more exciting and it sounded better too." I then asked him how he could say that when the orchestra's play was so rough and the singer couldn't be heard, and he replied that it didn't matter because the singer when Rattle performed was just awful looking and sounding (Kozena in a very unfortunate white outfit) although he admitted  it was easier to hear her.  I guess he would rather have not been able to hear her.  And, he added that the symphony wasn't as exciting and just didn't sound as nice.  I suppose he was referring to the lean sound of the Berliners compared to the still lush and silky Philadelphia strings, and the fact that Rattle's version of the 4th is extremely flaccid and the tension never comes to climax.  The Berliners, however, play like angels individually.  If there is a missed note or horn biff no one can tell, they are such fine instrumentalists.  I guess perfection is sometimes an overrated commodity. 

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #56 on: May 10, 2007, 08:44:32 AM »
Just added this one into the mix, on Sunday afternoon at Carnegie:

The MET Orchestra
James Levine, Music Director and Conductor
Nicolas Hodges, Piano

Elliott Carter: Three Illusions
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, "Scottish"
Elliott Carter: Dialogues for Piano and Orchestra
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2007, 09:14:34 AM »
Tomorrow night, Aimard in (yet another) fascinating evening:

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano
Tamara Stefanovich, Piano
Daniel Ciampolini, Percussion
Joseph Gramley, Percussion

PETER EÖTVÖS Kosmos for 2 Pianos
GYÖRGY KURTÁG Selections from Játékok
STEVE REICH Clapping Music
LIGETI "Fém" from Études pour piano, No. 8 (adapted for piano and percussion)
NANCARROW Studies for Player Piano Nos. 2 & 9 (arr. for two pianos)
AIMARD (arr.) "Počme de chambre", after Ligeti's Počme symphonique for 100 Metronomes
LIGETI "Fanfares" from Études pour piano, No. 4 (adapted for piano and percussion)
BARTÓK Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion

Well this was pretty amazing, I must say.  Aimard conceived the entire thing performed straight through, without intermission, and the middle section (from Reich through the Ligeti "Fanfares") was done without pauses between the works.  Aimard's arrangement of the "Počme symphonique" was amusing, for the four musicians at two pianos, each solemnly hitting a single note, over and over...well, metronomically!

The Bartok was totally great -- very crisp, slightly jazzy and lean -- and the two percussionists were just marvelous.  At the end, bravos and Aimard and the others came out four times to acknowledge the applause. 

He's doing another recital/talk tonight, also at Zankel, but alas, I'll be at Falstaff in Philadelphia. 

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
     ~ Gustav Mahler

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline stingo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2007, 01:27:13 PM »
I guess perfection is sometimes an overrated commodity. 

It is - I'd much rather have a technically flawed but emotionally riveting performance than a technically perfect uninvolving one. Have you heard any of the Ondine recordings of the Philly Orchestra with Eschenbach?

Offline toledobass

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2007, 01:50:37 PM »
Just bought the ticket, paid for by my sons: early Father's Day present!  Nice, well-behaved 20-somethings!   0:)     0:)

GMG member Toledobass might be able to tell us how rehearsals are going!

Sorry Folks,

I don't follow this thread often so I've missed all the mentions of the upcoming Bruckner 8.  It has been an ongoing tradition to play a Bruckner concert in the wonderful space of the Rosary Cathedral.  The funny thing to me is that it is a giveaway concert to those who subscribe to our Mozart and More series. I don't think most of the audience knew what they were in for that first Bruckner concert, but I think they've come to enjoy the annual offering.  It surely is well attended and well recieved.  We had played Bruckner under a different conductor before in our main hall but it was not well recieved due to poor performances.  Sanderling has a way of being so musically convincing that a level of trust with the audience was developed that I think they just come along for the ride now, basically expecting it to be good.  I always look forward to this concert (I surely can't say that about all my collegues.)  Bruckner's music is very special to Sanderling and I believe the 8th is his favorite.  He's been very detailed in rehearsal and the concert should come off well.  Of course I wish there were another performance for all of the taxing work we've put in over the past week,  oh well.  Next year is the 9th preceded by Messaien's L'Ascension and next week is Beethoven 9 (I believe this is the last symphony that we've needed to play to complete the entire cycle)!!!  A busy and exciting 2 weeks at work. :D   


Allan

PS.  The reason I came to the thread was to post that I'm looking forward to Rosenkavalier at the Cleveland Orchestra in early June.   ;D

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