Sunday, February 03, 2008

Two Bs

I caught the second of Adele Anthony's Bach Sonatas and Partitas last night at Gretna Music in Elizabethtown. It was delightful with the G minor Sonata, B minor Partita and the C major Sonata. Anthony was much more in control than her November performance, and showed talent and musicality beyond her years. Especially dazzling were her tempos in the 1st Partita.
Also, major highlights for me were the fugues in both sonatas, both well thought out and melodic lines clearly and cleanly presented.
I had fun giving the preconcert talk, and laid out the scores for the audience to see across 12 stands at the back of the room - it was nice to see people take a look before, at intermission and after the performance.

Today, I heard the Orchestra of St. Luke's in music by Thomas Ades and Beethoven, with soloist Helene Grimaud and conductor Xian Zhang. It was also a breathtaking concert - with a perfect rendition of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. Grimaud performs with depth and conviction (and despite a cellphone ring in one of the most sensitive portions of the first movement) with incredible dynamics. I melted with the precision of the last movement, which was not only clean but touching. My friend and coworker Cary who came along said he could barely sit still hearing such awesome playing.
The Ades was disappointing, a tribute to Couperin that was unmoving and quite static. Beethoven's 4th Symphony was put through its paces and showed lots of flair and excitement. Again, a very precise and uptempo take on a true classic.

Another highlight was meeting up with friend and composer Steve Stucky for lunch at a good Thai restaurant beforehand. aLater, Cary and I caught a quick cup of coffee and tiramisu after the concert and had an easy trip home, hearing part of Superbowl XLII on am radio.

A super Sunday indeed.

1 comment:

ft said...

i was there too! I thought I recognized you from your profile pic, but was too shy to stop and say hello. It was my first time seeing Helene Grimaud live, and she was amazing. Can't wait to see her again!