I took some gambles on music that sounded cool. The Bluebeard's Castle program was certainly very interesting, especially after taking Signum's Folkloric Transformations class.
But my absolute favorite so far was the matinee on January 4, featuring:
- Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 (1862-64)
- Respighi: Trittico botticelliano (1927)
- Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D major, Miracle (1791)
The quintet consisted of pianist Jeffrey Kahane and "four Principal musicians from the Orchestra: Concertmaster Frank Huang; Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples; Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps; and Principal Cello Carter Brey." Each of them holds a named Chair position, which I've omitted from the quote. Both women wore eye-catching outfits, much as female vocal soloists do – elegant, brightly colored gowns.
So I was interested to see, when the four were re-absorbed into the orchestra for the remainder of the program, that the women changed back into their regular orchestra outfits to blend in.
I really loved the Respighi piece, reflecting three paintings by my favorite artist. It was absolutely beautiful. La Primavera is in allegro vivace; L'adorazione dei Magi is andante lento; and La nascita di Venere is in allegro moderato.
Unfortunately, my few scribbles on the music are mostly indecipherable, and I waited too long to remember the details that particularly struck me at the time. But apparently the 3rd movement of the Brahms quintet (scherzo allegro) reminded me a bit of the Pink Panther theme for some reason, and some other point in the concert inspired the notation "almost galloping."
It was followed by a Q&A session which was pretty good, though they didn't call on me. My question would have been: If you could choose any work to test the acoustics of the renovated concert hall, what would it be? (I'd still like to know the answer!) It would have been more interesting, I think, than the last question they took from the audience, which was basically an extended version of "Don't you know that Boston Symphony Hall is the best concert hall that has ever existed in the history of the universe, and why aren't you just copying them?"
Now that I think of it, there was one other non-musical thing that struck me quite forcibly during the first piece; but I'm not sure I want to memorialize it here. Without a writing, it will probably slip away into the ether, but so be it.