Author Topic: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)  (Read 528321 times)

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ChamberNut

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #740 on: June 17, 2008, 08:10:08 AM »
I'll be attending the final two concerts for the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society this week:

Last Night:

Mozart - Piano Trio in B flat major, K254 
Brahms - Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 100
Beethoven - String Trio in G major, op. 9. no. 1  (This was a fantastic performance!)  :)


Thursday:

Mozart - Piano Quartet in G minor, K478
Lutoslawski - Four Silesian Melodies for 4 violins
Mendelssohn - Octet in E flat major, Op. 18
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 04:58:21 AM by ChamberNut »

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #741 on: June 22, 2008, 12:40:22 PM »
NZSO this Friday: Auckland Friday 27 June 6.30pm Town Hall


RAVEL La Valse
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No 2
TCHAIKOVSKY Manfred Symphony

YOEL LEVI Conductor
SIMON TRPČESKI Piano

The Ballets Russes never danced the score Diaghilev requested from Ravel but La Valse took to the concert hall instead. Its colourful depiction of a crowded ballroom increases in nightmarish tumult to finally dissolve in an excitingly unstable cataclysmic whirl. Saint-Saëns’ Second Piano Concerto initially pays homage to Bach, then treats us to a concoction of Gallic wit, sprinkled with brittle ghostliness, before ending theatrically with a driving, tarantella-like force.  Romantic composers were drawn to the supernatural elements of Tchaikovsky’s four scenes that form the symphony based on Byron’s Manfred Symphony.

About the Artists
YOEL LEVI is Music Director Emeritus of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Adviser of the Flemish Radio Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic. He is a frequent guest conductor of leading orchestras throughout North America, Europe and the Far East.

SIMON TRPČESKI first came to public at the London International Piano Competition in 2000 and then at his exceptional Wigmore Hall debut recital in 2001. A born performer with astonishing technical command and a magnetic personality, he has delighted audiences in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

Especially looking forward to the Manfred Symphony.

 :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #742 on: June 23, 2008, 05:59:53 AM »
I am also looking forward to next Saturday night, June 20, at Avery Fischer Hall, Lorin Maazel and the NYPO perform Anton Bruckner's 8th Symphony.

Well, I enjoyed this so much on Friday that I went again on Saturday night.  Maazel was much better in this than I might have expected: strong architectural grasp, with many details well-worked out, and most of the time the orchestra really sounded splendid.  There were some brass bobbles (especially the first night) but not enough to ruin the experience.  If there were anything I'd want improved, it would be the attention to dynamics.  The soft moments needed to be even softer, in a reading that was basically very loud.  (The climaxes were really loud.)  But overall, I thought Maazel acquitted himself very, very well.  Now I'll think about getting that Berlin recording.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #743 on: June 23, 2008, 06:21:27 AM »
Well, I enjoyed this so much on Friday that I went again on Saturday night.  Maazel was much better in this than I might have expected: strong architectural grasp, with many details well-worked out, and most of the time the orchestra really sounded splendid.  There were some brass bobbles (especially the first night) but not enough to ruin the experience.  If there were anything I'd want improved, it would be the attention to dynamics.  The soft moments needed to be even softer, in a reading that was basically very loud.  (The climaxes were really loud.)  But overall, I thought Maazel acquitted himself very, very well.  Now I'll think about getting that Berlin recording.

--Bruce
I came away with the same impression overall. Personally I think at times it sounded a bit too brassy (like that metallic buzz you sometimes hear from the brasses). The Wagner Tubas were good but not great, but the horns were great. Overall I think it is a very good presentation. It doesn't bow me over and really enhance my appreciation of the work but I can't complain. Also I really have to hand it to the timpanist (I think it was Christ Lamb) who handled the really difficult part with aplomb.

I am not sure why Judith Leclaire and Robert Langevin (the principal bassoon and flute respectively) weren't there but they didn't really miss them by the sound of it.

Also after the concert a woman complained that Philip Myers (the principal horn) had some funny articulation which I didn't hear and that the flutes were out of tune which was totally ludicrous.

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #744 on: June 23, 2008, 06:34:04 AM »
Also after the concert a woman complained that Philip Myers (the principal horn) had some funny articulation which I didn't hear and that the flutes were out of tune which was totally ludicrous.

There was at least one horn passage that is usually done very legato, which he did with more articulation, but I definitely felt that was Maazel's call, not Myers's.  And I didn't hear anything but goodness from the flutes.

PS, on both nights the audience was remarkably quiet, much more so than usual for Philharmonic audiences, and perhaps even more amazing: I didn't hear a cell phone, ever.  

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #745 on: June 23, 2008, 06:43:24 AM »

PS, on both nights the audience was remarkably quiet, much more so than usual for Philharmonic audiences, and perhaps even more amazing: I didn't hear a cell phone, ever.  

--Bruce
You didn't hear a watch beeping RIGHT at the start of the piece? And I mean right at the start like as soon as Maazel gives the downbeat the damn thing started beeping. It went on for a good 10 seconds or so.

Offline Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #746 on: June 23, 2008, 06:49:22 AM »
You didn't hear a watch beeping RIGHT at the start of the piece? And I mean right at the start like as soon as Maazel gives the downbeat the damn thing started beeping. It went on for a good 10 seconds or so.

 :o  Wow, no...missed that completely (thankfully).  Where were you sitting?  On Saturday, I was in the back right corner of the orchestra, just out from under the overhang.  (The sound was better than on Friday, when I was on the left side, about halfway back.)

Yikes...I hate those watches.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #747 on: June 23, 2008, 07:00:28 AM »
:o  Wow, no...missed that completely (thankfully).  Where were you sitting?  On Saturday, I was in the back right corner of the orchestra, just out from under the overhang.  (The sound was better than on Friday, when I was on the left side, about halfway back.)

Yikes...I hate those watches.

--Bruce
I must have been right on top of you then, but I was sitting pretty much dead center. I wonder whether Maazel heard that CASIO watch. The funniest thing was the guy/girl must have been trying to silence the damn thing and it went on beeping twice as fast for a few seconds. I am surprised they didn't kick the offender out. THe music was real quiet at the point and that beeping sound stuck out like a white guy in Harlem.

I almost missed the concert. I waited for the 2 train for what seemed like an eternity and came in seconds before Dicterow came out...

What also surprised me was that while reading the program notes it says the last time the NYPO performed this piece was in 2000, which is incidentally the last time they performed last week's piece - Gustav Mahler's 9th Symphony. Eight years with no Bruckner 8th or Mahler 9th is unfathomable IMHO. I think the blame rests on the shoulders of Kurt Masur.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 07:04:08 AM by PerfectWagnerite »

M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #748 on: June 23, 2008, 03:08:08 PM »
Yeah, Masur is know for not liking Bruckner. What can you do?

There was at least one horn passage that is usually done very legato, which he did with more articulation, but I definitely felt that was Maazel's call, not Myers's.

Where was that?

And I didn't hear anything but goodness from the flutes.

Could be, of course, but I would really like to read a critical review from you (just once!), not critical nitpicking for its own sake, just critical. That would make statements like this much more believable.

BTW, which edition did they do? Haas or Nowak?

Offline MishaK

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #749 on: June 23, 2008, 05:16:53 PM »
What also surprised me was that while reading the program notes it says the last time the NYPO performed this piece was in 2000.

I think that was with Eschenbach. That 2000 performance is still seared into my memory as the most amazing Bruckner 8th I have ever heard, as well as the most terrific orchestral playing I have ever heard from the sometimes inconsistent NYPO.

I think the blame rests on the shoulders of Kurt Masur.

Hardly. He did a fair amount of Mahler and Bruckner with the NYPO. I lived in NY for five years of his reign and don't recall a particular shortage of either composer. IIRC, Masur especially liked to program Bruckner for the free concert they do annually at St.John the Divine for whatever that holiday is. Then again, it's a bit redundant to program Bruckner and Mahler in NY, since so many of their works are considered warhorses these days which orchestras like to take on tour and which therefore invariably show up on Carnegie Hall programs. I remember a number of seasons where you could have literally heard at least partial Mahler and Bruckner cycles a few times over between Carnegie and Lincoln Center, but without hearing e.g. a single Schubert symphony at either place.

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #750 on: June 23, 2008, 05:24:23 PM »
I think that was with Eschenbach. That 2000 performance is still seared into my memory as the most amazing Bruckner 8th I have ever heard, as well as the most terrific orchestral playing I have ever heard from the sometimes inconsistent NYPO.

Hardly. He did a fair amount of Mahler and Bruckner with the NYPO. I lived in NY for five years of his reign and don't recall a particular shortage of either composer. IIRC, Masur especially liked to program Bruckner for the free concert they do annually at St.John the Divine for whatever that holiday is. Then again, it's a bit redundant to program Bruckner and Mahler in NY, since so many of their works are considered warhorses these days which orchestras like to take on tour and which therefore invariably show up on Carnegie Hall programs. I remember a number of seasons where you could have literally heard at least partial Mahler and Bruckner cycles a few times over between Carnegie and Lincoln Center, but without hearing e.g. a single Schubert symphony at either place.
THey are doing Mahler's 2nd and 5th and 8th next year - 5th with Dudamel - 8th with Maazel and 2nd  with Kaplan. Also Bruckner's 9th is on the schedule and I think that is with Eschenbach but I don't remember who they listed. So it looks like more Bruckner and Mahler next year. Schubert's Great C Major is also on the schedule as well.

Incidentally the edition Maazel used with the Bruckner 8th is Nowak according to the notes.

M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #751 on: June 23, 2008, 06:23:40 PM »
Thanks - but why are you saying "according to the notes"? Weren't you there yourself? Do you think it was actually Haas, not Nowak?

THey are doing Mahler's 2nd and 5th and 8th next year - 5th with Dudamel -

Oh wow, I have to hear that! This is such a complex piece with so many things happening on so many layers, I have always wanted to hear that conducted by someone who has studied the music for many years, reflected on how to bring all those details together, how to balance and illuminate all those layers, someone who really leads the listener inside the music instead of doing the monkey thing in front of a highly trained group of musicians on autopilot. So I have to go to that concert!!!

8th with Maazel

That might be neat. But - in Carnegie Hall or Avery Fisher Hall?

2nd  with Kaplan

That might be interesting, too. Kaplan certainly deserves to be taken seriously for all the work and studying he has invested in figuring the music out. His two recordings are very solid and there is a lot of good stuff in them which shows that he really knows what he wants and how he wants it.

I think that was with Eschenbach. That 2000 performance is still seared into my memory as the most amazing Bruckner 8th I have ever heard, as well as the most terrific orchestral playing I have ever heard from the sometimes inconsistent NYPO.

Your greatest live Bruckner 8 was with Eschenbach? Man I - am - so - sorry  :'(  But maybe we should look at it from the positive side. That means that you have many potentially really great Bruckner experiences ahead of you, like with...uh...uh...well...you know...well, I guess Eschenbach is better than nothing!  :)

Offline PSmith08

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #752 on: June 23, 2008, 07:29:04 PM »
That might be interesting, too. Kaplan certainly deserves to be taken seriously for all the work and studying he has invested in figuring the music out. His two recordings are very solid and there is a lot of good stuff in them which shows that he really knows what he wants and how he wants it.

I've always sort of wished that Kaplan would approach some of the other works by Mahler, given his comprehensive and critical study of the 2nd, as I think he could do some very interesting things with the other symphonies. Of course, that's a bit of a pipe dream, as I think that it was his deep interest in the 2nd that motivated his protean scholarship. Still, his recordings of the 2nd are very nice.

M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #753 on: June 23, 2008, 08:08:03 PM »
Not a pipe dream. A few conductors have done that. Kaplan's insights are very deep, but not extremely and unusually deep. It just took him a long time because he had no solid musical training and experience before. Which makes his achievements all the more impressive but it has to be kept in mind that for him the learning process was particularly slow because of the lack of these abilities, not because he spent so much longer than anyone else studying that particular score. Well, maybe that, too, it is hard to "gauge". But a number of conductors have approached the Mahler symphonies equally well prepared and with very well reflected interpretations. The best current example, I guess, is Boulez - and it is interesting to note that there are quite a few parallels between his and Kaplan's style.

Offline MishaK

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #754 on: June 24, 2008, 05:16:10 AM »
Your greatest live Bruckner 8 was with Eschenbach? Man I - am - so - sorry  :'(  But maybe we should look at it from the positive side. That means that you have many potentially really great Bruckner experiences ahead of you, like with...uh...uh...well...you know...well, I guess Eschenbach is better than nothing!  :)

Say what you want about the guy (I'm sure you will), but it was indeed an amazing performance. I have had extremely inconsistent experiences with Eschenbach. That astounding B8 on one end of the spectrum and a just atrociously bizarre Dvorak 9 on the other end and a lot in the middle. So I can see why people don't like him too much. But that one evening the stars somehow aligned. And in many, many concerts I have never heard such playing from the NYPO before or since. They outdid themselves. The Adagio, especially, was amazingly nuanced and just "alive".

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #755 on: June 24, 2008, 05:50:25 AM »
Thanks - but why are you saying "according to the notes"? Weren't you there yourself? Do you think it was actually Haas, not Nowak?

I don't know the score well enough to say definitely whether it was Haas or Nowak. Then the notes also say an earlier and a newer Nowak edition so there is no way I am going to know most of the differences unless I am on the lookout for them. Also there were moments where I spaced out while staring at the legs of this girl with high heels sitting on the side so whatever differences there might be I didn't quite catch. I am sorry but I find it really difficult to give 100% attention for an hour and a half no matter what the piece is. The performance lasted close to 90 minutes which would make a pretty long Nowak presentation.

Back to Mahler's 5th, there is a recording with Mehta conducting the NYPO recorded at Manhattan Center which I think is pretty good in presenting the orchestra close to what it sounds like when you take it out of the somewhat dry acoustics of Avery Fischer Hall. I picked that recording up by accident when a seller on Amazon sent that cd instead of something else. But it really presents the tonal palette of the different sections of the Philharmonic quite nicely, especially those rifts in the horns in the 2nd movement.

M forever

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #756 on: June 24, 2008, 08:26:11 AM »
I think the best recordings of the NYP sonically that I have heard are the DG recordings with Sinopoli which are also musically outstanding (I believe they were made in Manhattan Center, too). I didn't find Avery Fisher Hall too bad when I was there a while ago, but then I also had a potentially very good seat in the second balcony from the front on the left side. And considering that it didn't sound too great there either, I can easily imagine that it must suck further back in the hall. Overall, the concert (with Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Ravel conducted by Dutoit) was by a fair margin the most impressive concert by an American orchestra I have heard since I came here 5 years ago, so I hope to catch them live again before not too long. I will actually be back in NY in July but there are no more "serious" concerts with them then. In any case, they really deserve a better hall. Apart from the sound, it is stunningly ugly.

The easy way to tell whether it is Haas or Nowak, BTW, is that in the finale, after the massive "rex tremendae majestatis" passage where the brass build up ever higher piled long-held chords over a steady march-like ostinato in timpani and lower strings, in the Nowak edition, there are only four quiet bars with timpani and pizzed strings as bridge to the next section which opens with a quiet, pastoral motif in the horns while in the Haas edition, there is a fairly extensive interlude with a violin solo (the only place I can think of actually that a violin solo occurs in Bruckner's symphonies). That passage comes from the earlier version and was reinserted by Haas into the later version which is pretty much exactly represented by Nowak's edition because he felt that without it, there was a structural hole there and that Bruckner can only have been pressured into cutting the passage. There are a number of prominent Bruckner interpreters who have the same opinion and choose Haas mainly for that reason.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 08:27:42 AM by M forever »

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #757 on: June 24, 2008, 08:51:42 AM »
I think the best recordings of the NYP sonically that I have heard are the DG recordings with Sinopoli which are also musically outstanding (I believe they were made in Manhattan Center, too). I didn't find Avery Fisher Hall too bad when I was there a while ago, but then I also had a potentially very good seat in the second balcony from the front on the left side. And considering that it didn't sound too great there either, I can easily imagine that it must suck further back in the hall. Overall, the concert (with Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Ravel conducted by Dutoit) was by a fair margin the most impressive concert by an American orchestra I have heard since I came here 5 years ago, so I hope to catch them live again before not too long. I will actually be back in NY in July but there are no more "serious" concerts with them then. In any case, they really deserve a better hall. Apart from the sound, it is stunningly ugly.

The easy way to tell whether it is Haas or Nowak, BTW, is that in the finale, after the massive "rex tremendae majestatis" passage where the brass build up ever higher piled long-held chords over a steady march-like ostinato in timpani and lower strings, in the Nowak edition, there are only four quiet bars with timpani and pizzed strings as bridge to the next section which opens with a quiet, pastoral motif in the horns while in the Haas edition, there is a fairly extensive interlude with a violin solo (the only place I can think of actually that a violin solo occurs in Bruckner's symphonies). That passage comes from the earlier version and was reinserted by Haas into the later version which is pretty much exactly represented by Nowak's edition because he felt that without it, there was a structural hole there and that Bruckner can only have been pressured into cutting the passage. There are a number of prominent Bruckner interpreters who have the same opinion and choose Haas mainly for that reason.
I know which passage you are referring to now. The bridge passage occurs about 6 minutes into the finale (I have the Boulez/WP recording in front of me right now which uses the Haas). The Haas has either 10 or 20 bars of bridge material depending on whether you count in 2s or 4s which isn't TERRIBLY longer than the 4 bars in the Nowak I guess. Maazel definitely used the Nowak then. Incidentally the horn solo after that passage is probably what the girl referred to as "funny articulation" after the concert. During the concert I had an itch that it didn't sound quite normal (in the sense that the horn passage sounds different from the recordings I have) but it was a fleeting moment that I didn't remember afterwards.

The Avery Fisher Hall acoustics really depend on where you sit. A few months ago I sat pretty much a few rows back dead center in the orchestra level and heard Masur and the Orch. Nat. France do an unbelievable Tchaikovsky 5th (talk about a performance that make you rethink how well you know a work). The suavity and beauty of that orchestra really took my breath away. Then I sat in the first balcony for the Mahler 9th and acoustically it was pretty dead. The opening walls of string sound that opens the finale as a non-event. But somehow Bruckner sounded pretty well from the same spot...

There is NO question the NYPO needs a new hall. They use that place for high school graduations (I had mine there about 15 years ago). You take the number of high schools in the city and figure out how much wear and pounding that hall takes. You wouldn't even think about pretty anything nice in there because you know teenagers, they will destroy anything and everything. You go a few hundred feet further into the MET and the acoustics is much warmer and less agressive.

Offline MishaK

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #758 on: June 24, 2008, 10:04:04 AM »
They use that place for high school graduations (I had mine there about 15 years ago).

And law school graduations.  ;)

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #759 on: June 24, 2008, 10:10:12 AM »
And law school graduations.  ;)
You don't realize how ugly it is until you get up to the stage area. It's like the whole stage needs to be repainted or something. It is quite embarassing actually.