Archive for May, 2010

Dudamel and LA Phil Come to East Coast

Bring West Coast Glam

by: Colin Oettle

Last Thursday and Friday, Gustavo Dudamel gave tri-staters the opportunity to see him conduct for the first time since his inauguration as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. At Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday, Dudamel and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performed Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 “The Age of Anxiety.” Times critic Anthony Tommasini called the performance “arresting” and said the work “if sometimes wild and brassy, was basically wonderful.” However, he was not as enamored with the LA rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique.”

Tommasini felt that technical faults in the performance hinted at under-preparation despite Dudamel’s emotive and carefully executed direction. While the lush, expressive lyricism lent itself to a poignant interpretation from the maestro, The NY Times thought the orchestra’s inability to deliver resulted in a performance that was “rough and unfocused.”

But on Friday, The Sound Post was able to see Dudamel continue his east coast performances with a similar program in Prudential Hall at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Dudamel and Thibaudet began the performance by repeating the same pristine execution of Bernstein’s 2nd Symphony “The Age of Anxiety” from the night before. View Full Article »

Brahms and Tchaikovsky Live On

by: Colin Oettle

Johannes Brahms and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, two great masters of classical music, were born on this date, May 7th, over a century ago. In 1833 and 1840 respectively, these men each entered the world destined to become two of its most influential composers. The profundity of both composers’ works helped shape the topography of Romanticism, combining worldly humanism with classical discipline. While Robert Schumann accurately predicted that Johannes Brahms would succeed Beethoven—a foresight which spoke to his acumen as a critic—Tchaikovsky similarly carved a wake through Russia and Europe with poignant works telling of crisis and wandering.

With great respect and reverence should these musical giants be remembered. Their works represent an era of musical humanism and affectation that has timelessly endured concert programs worldwide. So today, go and listen to what they’ve left us, as their work emanates the same potency today as it did in their lifetimes.

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