SPCO concert review – Sept 13, 2008

I feel like I finally got my fix, it has been two months since I have seen live classical music performed.  I think I was going into withdrawal.  Looking at my schedule next week, I have to say that I am going to look like a junkie with 4 days in a row of live music!

So on to tonight – the artistic partner for this weekend’s program was Robert Abbado and the featured soloist was pianist Peter Serkin.  Here is the program:

  • Stravinsky – Concerto in D for Strings
  • Stravinsky – Movements for Piano and Orchestra
  • Wuorinen – Flying to Kahani
  • Haydn – Symphony No. 103, Drum Roll

I really like the bookends to this program, the first Stravinsky piece and the Haydn Symphony.  To my ears, the Concerto in D was not as conventional as much of the classical repertoire, but it was still very enjoyable.  The second Stravinsky piece was very similiar to what you would hear in 12 tone by Arnold Schoenberg.  The piece by Wuorinen is another 12 tone work and neither of these were as pleasing to my ears.

At intermission I chatted with my friend Egil (or Bravo Man) and he thought the Movements for Piano and Orchestra wasn’t played very well, and he enjoyed the Wuorinen.

After intermission it was just the Haydn Symphony.  It was very enjoyable from beginning to end.  This particular symphony is on of the 12 London Symphonies composed by Haydn.  It opened with a very distinctive timpani solo, the reason it is called Drum Roll, and continued on from there.  I was a bit suprised that the concertmaster, Steven Copes, was acknowledged as a soloist before the timpanist, but from my vantage in the left back corner of the orchestra I didn’t have good view of Steven’s solo work (thinking quantity).

It looks like Abaddo and Serkin have combined on the Wuorinen piece before.  You can see reviews of the SPCO concert program in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

Besides the actual concert performance, I have some other comments on the experience and musicians.  First, I used Club 2030, but it was a bit more complicated than last time.  A friend of mine who happens to be in a wheelchair was to join me.  The SPCO holds tickets for concertgoers who are in wheelchairs and their companions.  However, because the spots are locked, you need to call the ticket office to access the tickets with the Club 2030 discount, rather than on-line.  At first the ticket office staff wanted to direct me to the on-line ordering, but I was persistent, pointing out that the seats I needed to purchase were not available on-line because they were locked.

I also noticed the both Shane Kim and Kathryn Bennett were back playing with the SPCO.  Shane had played with the Minnesota Orchestra all last season, and Kathryn seemed to be with Minnesota Orchestra for most of the end of last season.  I ran into to Shane on the street after the concert and he informed me that he will be performing with both Orchestras this season.  I also ran into Bernhard Scully, principal horn, after the concert.  I have never talked to him before, but he was very personable, introducing himself, asking if I go to other concerts, and telling me to say hi next time I see him.  I also remember hearing from someone that he was a Minneapolis South High graduate (like myself) and he confirmed it – class of ’95.

Speaking of fellow South High alums, my sister’s friend Sarah was sitting down the row from me.  She is in her early 30s and really enjoyed her seats via Club 2030 (and the music) and looks forward to the free Enso Quartet concert next Saturday that was offered to Club 2030 members.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: