October 3rd, 2008


Orchestra last night

Ravel - "Valses nobles et sentimentales"
Prokofiev - "Piano Concerto No. 1"
Shostakovich - "Piano Concerto No. 1"
Musorgsky - "Pictures at an Exhibition"
Martha Argerich, piano; David Bilger, trumpet
Charles Dutoit, conductor
The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Ravel made me feel like I was watching a movie with lots of women strolling along the Seine or whatever, wearing bustles and carrying those foofy ruffled parasols. The last movement got slightly more crunchy, but I still didn't love it.

The Prokofiev was awesome, as was Martha Argerich, who got a rather lengthy ovation. Fun with intervals and pounding on the piano to show it really is percussion!

The Shostakovich was nice; I wanted more trumpet solo. He got to spend a lot of time just standing there, and playing tiny little sections here and there, until the bravura bit at the end.

"Pictures at an Exhibition" was great fun to listen to; I love and am familiar with the piece, and was happy to hear it live. I didn't like the saxophone solo much; the sound was too airy, the solo not sexy enough, possibly because throughout Dutoit took it at a brisk pace. Sometimes I liked the brisk pace, sometimes I wanted a little more lingering and scraping on the crunchy bits. A couple of times, the strings felt too smooth and polished for my taste, but that's getting really nitpicky. Tuba solo hurray! I finally got to clearly hear the new(ish) principal tubist, Carol Jantsch, as other than part of the low brass. (I say principal, even though there's only one, because it is so cool.)

Lastly, Oh Charles Dutoit, please stop doing that with your hair. Pleasepleaseplease. Please sir please. You are a nice man and don't deserve to have your hair look like that.