One of the things I wanted to tell you about was last night's concert. Last week we had Beethoven's 7th Symphony on the program, one of my favorites. What I hadn't taken into account beforehand was that William Walton's Violin Concerto (James Ehnes, soloist) was on the program, too. It isn't performed very often because it is devilishly difficult, but Ehnes made it sound easy. The tone he got from the Stradivarius (the Marsik of 1715, according to the program) was unfailingly sweet and lovely. This piece was last played here 25 years ago when it was the first time I had heard it. The memory of it hadn't stayed with me, but I think this time it will! Wonderful concert!
Last night Beethoven's 6th was on the program. We are working through a count down this season, having begun with the 9th. The interesting thing is that while what I think of as Beethoven's trademark graceful changes of key in his music, all of the symphonies are very different from each other and all are good. Last night I heard the best performance of the sixth (the Pastoral) that I have ever heard. If you have been reading here for a while, you may recall that last year I said I thought we were in for wonderful music with the leadership of Thierry Fischer our then-brand new conductor. I am happy to say that my prediction was more than correct!
The second half of the concert was a sandwich (with a theme) of short pieces by Wagner (Prelude to Act 1 of Lohengrin and ending with Ride of the Valkyries) with a new piece in between The composer is someone I didn't know, Christopher Rouse. which featured a solo percussionist, Colin Currie. The title is Der Gerettete Alberich (Albrerich Saved) a piece about the dwarf Alberich from Wagner's Ring Cycle. The piece was dazzling.
What an evening!