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Topic: Happy B'Day Concert

  1. #1

    Happy B'Day Concert

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    Cool. My wife got the tickets.

    My B'Day is this coming Sunday, and on that day the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will perform Saint-Saens' 3rd Violin Concerto and Orff's Carmina Burana.

    And, no, it's not that Vancouver. It's the older one, down here in Washington State. http://www.vancouversymphony.org

    Saint-Saens has a special place in my heart. My first magical classical music moment was when I heard Danse Macabre in Kindergarten. It was the most amazing music I had ever heard. It sure beat Ten Little Indians and Row Your Boat! The next year when the teacher played the album in first grade, I made a point to find out the name of the piece and who it was by. I remember that they spelled Danse funny, and Macabre is a funny word as well. And what kind of a name is Saint-Saens, anyway? Okay, French. But is he really a saint? And Saens sure iis weird too. How do you pronounce that?

    Frankly, the funny names made it that much more mystical and memorable.

    And then we have Carmina Burana - the original head thumping Gothic masterpiece. How many music trailers and commercials have used this music, or music written to emulate it? I just hope that the chorus and soloists can pull it off.

    It's a great program, titled "Magic Voyage". We're dragin' the whole family along.

    Certainly a very cool present.


  2. #2

    Re: Happy B'Day Concert

    Sounds like a great concert! Saint Saens was one of the composers that got me really into classical music. And it was the Dance Macabre, too! The very first peice I herd that made me see the light was Allegro from Water Music Suite in F by Handel. Then came Saint Saens. Then Tcykovsky and I became a professional music geek! And now I'm here hanging out with all the other professional music geeks!

    Anyways, have fun!


  3. #3

    Re: Happy B'Day Concert

    The concert was a success. And I'm another yer older...

    Jennifer Choi was marvelous. She bowed every note with flair and grace. Had she played flawlessly (she was darn close), her performance would have been no better. If you get a chance to hear her perform, don't hesitate. She's a true virtuoso.

    Saint-Saens' Violin Concerto #3 was a wonderful platform for her talents. Normally I think of Saint-Saens as a composer who creates imagery. In this piece he creates a beautiful harmonic foundation that at all times supports and builds a virtuos performance. On the final note the horsehairs are flying.

    The second and final piece was Orff's Carmina Burana. Seeing this piece live really reinforced the episodic nature of this composition. It's not very rich harmonically, and the themes don't go through many variations, but the main melodies and orchestrations are rousing.

    The choir had 74 members. No one section was terribly strong, but the numbers overcame all weaknesses during the tutti sections.

    Soloist Richard Lippold (baritone) was the star of the performance. His range was solid from top to bottom, and he delivered every note with authority. We spoke with him after the concert, and learned that he performed Carmina Burana at his Carnegie Hall debut.

    The soprano soloist was well trained, but lacked presence. My daughter (a fourteen year old soprano and diva in training) felt that the singer focussed on her "goal notes", but was sloppy along the path. What's worse is that she looked morose, and didn't seem to engage with the music. But... she had an amazing range a great control of her vibrato.

    The comical counter-tenor part was played by the local choral director. Counter-tenors sing falsetto at the highest ranges of the male voice. Given that he wasn't a real unic, the performer was brave to take the part. As the lyrics were not in English, I doubt that most of the audience knew that the part was supposed to be humorous. We did, and we enjoyed his performance.

    Anyway, it was a wonderful event. And if you get a chance to hear Jennifer Choi or Richard Lippold perform, got for it. They were the stars of the evening.


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