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Dave and I went to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's concert on Saturday night (Jan. 12); the Detroit Free Press reviewed the Thursday evening performance of the same program. Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto was the opener, with James Ehnes as the soloist. He was outstanding, and rewarded us further by playing the prelude to Bach's third partita for solo violin as an encore. Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 (the "Leningrad") filled the rest of the program. I think Dave and I are a bit more enthusiastic about the performance than the Freep's reviewer; we were blown away by the forcefulness of the Shostakovich. A lot of people are intimidated by a symphony that's 75 minutes long, but this one didn't feel long because the drama was built up so well.

Also from the Free Press:
CLASSICALLY HIP: Contemporary ensemble brings experimental music back to Detroit (published January 15, 2008) -- about New Music Detroit (www.newmusicdetroit.com), founded by local musicians (who have much orchestra experience between them) to bring new music to the area by composers such as Steve Reich, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Nico Muhly. This article includes a sidebar of recommended new music CDs. New Music Detroit will give a concert at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 11:30 a.m.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 17th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
Sounds like a hell of a good concert!
Jan. 17th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
It was. We had maybe the best seats for acoustics — middle of the main floor on the center aisle. In Orchestra Hall, in some places, the horn section can overpower the strings pretty easily, which is popular, I guess, given the loud cheers the horn section always gets in the encores. But where we were, the strings and horns were perfectly balanced, each one "appearing" loudest when it needed to be.

Of course, from there one only sees the front rows of the string section, the conductor, and the soloist (and the top of the harp — not necessarily the harpist). I like watching everyone, so being in the balcony can be fun. But I suppose the sound is most important, huh? And the balcony is where you're more likely to lose the strings in the mix.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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