08 October, 2008

Concert Review: Philadelphia Orchestra

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008
Philadelphia Orchestra/Argerich/Dutoit
Carnegie Hall

Needless to say, a full house, but I had a very good seat way up front in Dress Circle.

Dutoit has just assumed Chief Conductorship of the PO, which is in a prolonged search for Director. Thanks to him I could hear Argerich, who seems not to perform concerti without Dutoit (we heard them in Beethoven's 1st with CISMA; what happened to CISMA??). My neighbor told me she played Prokofiev's 3rd last year and Rach 3 sometime ago. Lucky NYers.

The opening Valse Nobles et Sentimentales immediately showed the quality of the playing. What a marvelous orchestra! The burnished tone is quite different from the NYPO. The brass and woodwinds are so fullsome and together they might as well define the word "ensemble". The percussion was awesome too. Strangely, the strings initially were a little coarse when pressed. Dutoit has the full measure of this score, but the performance was much like the one he gave with the NYPO back a year or two, well oiled. But I'd like a little more excitement and premonition of La Valse.

I need not say much about the Prokofiev 1st, nor the Shostakovich 1st. These suited Argerich to a T. While brilliantly percussive when needed, she was all tenderness and stillness in the slow movements. It always seems to me that she re-invents bar-lines and group notes her way, but the waywardness is subsumed to musical meaning. She brought out the best in Dutoit, who was electric. The orchestra displayed kaleidoscopic colors while delivering frenzy with plenty of excitement. If only the trumpet soloist had more sardonic wit and bite.

The Pictures at an Exhibition was impeccably played. These fellows listen to each other! However, I missed the smoky feeling and, unfortunately, grandeur.

The two concerti were separated by the intermission. Both got tumultuous ovations, and it felt like the concert had ended several times! :_P

No NYT review yet. Shall append when there is.

No comments:

Post a Comment