Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fantastic Philharmonic

Usually it takes a premiere or something a bit unusual for me to go to a concert based on the programming alone. Sure, I'll go see my favorite violinist play more "normal" repertory just to see and hear them, or take in a concert when I'm giving the pre-concert discussion. But Friday night's concert of the New York Philharmonic was based on the first work on their program: Maurice Ravel's Le Enfant et les Sortileges. Okay, a bit unusual but older. But what a gem! I actually spent most a semester studying the work in a private lessons with a mentor of mine at Wichita State. To say I know every inch of that score would not be inacurrate. And I absolutely adore it. So having a chance to hear it live, and to have Lorin Maazel lead it - whose recording I adored as well!!! - was to say I would go to this concert - a special trip just to do so. The second half was Saint Saens Organ Symphony...which I almost missed - but decided to stay.
As you can see below, I did have fun before and after, having a yummy dinner. I also had a scotch before the program, hey I wasn't going to be driving!
The stellar cast, was just that - each shining well with the parts ocassionally graced with some bit of staging or acting - the cats were into the sensual aspects of their aria - I'll leave it at that. Maazel was at his heighth of his music powers and a great dose of charm too.
The second half (I was there, why not?) was the Symphony No. 3 which I'd heard last in Las Vegas with my friend Paul Hesselinck perform with the LV Phil. Suffice to say, the NY Philharmonic was having fun in the work which hadn't been programmed since 1990 according to the program. And I might add that the brass section gave a convincing performance that clearly makes them the finest brass section on earth - really!
Can you tell I liked this concert? It was just marvy!

1 comment:

Tom said...

I went to the concert as well. I last heard "L'Enfant" live some twenty years ago at the Paris Opera when I was a student. Before the NY Phil concert, I bought the Previn recording on itunes to "study-up."

I too thought the performance was wonderfully charming. I have a sense that a number of the soloists (e.g., Isabel Leonard)are Julliard grads who performed the work there a few years ago.

Maazel has a nice way with Ravel. Earlier this season I heard him lead the Phil in Rapsody Espanole. I loved this too. Later this season, they'll play Le Tombeau.