9 comments on “The Symphony Season Continues – 10/18/2012

  1. Did you read the Book Testimony, Memoirs of Dimitri Shostakovich, very interesting. Yes he was a Cosmopolitan and a Formalist, whatever that was back then. I really like his music.

    • I heard a fair amount of his work over the years but my knowledge of classical music is such that I can’t really claim to know it well. I have always been fascinated by Russian history though; both pre- and post-revolutionary periods. Also, the idea of state-controlled art is intriguing. The Soviets and Chinese both had/have long histories of it. The Nazi’s were famous for it as well but their regime was short enough that most of the control with which I am familiar was about censoring existing works rather than shaping the expression of new creation. It is evil…but an intriguing subject to me.
      I’ll check out that book. thanks

  2. I’m unfamiliar with most of what you’ve mentioned here. I have some googling to do. I did however know the name Benjamin Hochman! I’ve seen him perform several times at 92nd and Y. He’s amazing.

  3. I know OF the Barber but don’t recall ever having heard it.

    Though conventional ‘wisdom’ in the classical music world is that the Ravel Left-Hand Concerto is even greater than the G major, I do think that the first two movements of the latter are absolute miracles of sustained inspiration. There isn’t a single lapse in them. And if (in my opinion) the final movement doesn’t quite hit the heights of genius as does what comes before it’s only because the other two are of such a high standard. But overall it’s a glorious work. (And I only say what I do because by now the concert will have been ‘yesterday’ for you.)

    I hope you found the Shostakovich fun. I know all 15 symphonies reasonably or very well and he nearly always delivers value-for-money in terms of both quality and, often, length – as well as writing just about the loudest music ever written (due to the way he uses percussion) – even outdoing Wagner!

    I hope your experience was a memorable one – at least for the right reasons.

    • Thanks for the insights. I liked the Barber piece. The middle section I thought the middle section had the feel of the Sheridan play about it. The beginning and end were a little too ‘Star Wars’ to evoke the play for me but I liked them.

      You are right on target about the Ravel. The third movement almost feels unfinished to me but that is probably just because it is so short.

      I liked the Shostakovich very much; especially the 2nd movement. It is Mahler-ian in length but the audience was fully engaged the whole time.

      • So pleased the concert was worth the effort for you. Yes, Shosti’s 10 is a ‘sprawler’ – but never boring to me.
        You’ve got me intrigued by the Barber. I know the play quite well, and this overture very occasionally pops up in programmes of broadcast concerts ( about once in two or three years!). But must make an effort to catch it next time round. It could be my last chance!

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