Saturday, July 19, 2008

Last Night

Here's what happened to me last night.
Dinner in an Italian restaurant at Northgate I forget the name but the food was good.
It's right next to the Ram pub (I don't think it is called the Ram Inn)

Then it was on to Lakeside for Toby Saks 27th annual Seattle Chamber music Society Summer Festival.

The recital portion of the evening was exciting partially because I'd never heard of Rebecca Clarke or her sonata for piano and Viola.
Jeremy Denk on piano always gives an excellent performance and it is as much fun to watch him work as it is to hear him play.
As was Richard O'Neill on viola.

The recital portion of the show is free.

The part we paid for started with Frank Bridge's Fantasie Quartet for piano and strings in F-sharp minor H.94

I got lost during the Frank Bridge, which is not unusual for a first hearing.

The Villa Lobos "Assabio a Jato" with it's Latin warmth and rhythmic complexity was more to my liking even though I didn't see what a jet whistle had to do with it, except for a breath tone on the flute at the end, which was a brilliant touch.
Also a first hearing.

Ronald Thomas on Bass, Lorna McGhee on flute.

She wore a beautiful oriental-looking jacket over the usual black and white musician's costume, which had me wondering about the dress rituals involved in classical music.

Poulenc's sextet for piano, flute , oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn was also outstandingly memorable, come to think of it, ALL the pieces were new to me (or possibly heard on KING FM and ignored because not live)
I've always loved Poulenc's qurkiness and humor.
The performer who was to make the announcement declined so nobody talked about the music beforehand.
Wish Jeremy had done it.
If it wasn't such a brutal life, I could wish that he could be a standup comedian. It would be a loss to the music-loving populace, however.

The audience performed the intermission faultlessly bringing an ineffable sense of barely organized chaos which somehow combining the complex milling patterns of any intermission with a unique and subtle pattern of it's own.

The Dvorak Quartet, Op 23 was not Great Dvorak, but still great music.
And well performed, which sorta goes without saying for this venue.

Every piece got a standing ovation, which is suspicious to me.
This crowd does know what it wants and I suppose it is used to getting it, but I wonder if our standards need to be adjusted.
It's just that without an occasional sitting ovation, it's hard to make comparisons.

One potentially dangerous moment occurred when Jeremy's page turner hesitated a bit and Mr. Denk experienced a touch of panic, which did not appear in the music, however.

I'm still enduring the lethargy so I can't tell if any of this is funny.

That's your responseability


Blogger butch said...

Your musical reviews were brilliant and interesting, per usual. I guess your hearing was still intact, even though you still had the residuals of the ocular migraine--I guess. Jeremy Denk almost sounds like a Victor Borge kind of pianist, or maybe Liberace's cousin.

I think I liked your review and narrative review of the intermission best of all--it was pure Savant; wry, terse, funny, yet profound, true, almost existential.

Most ovations start out with the audience sitting, and then some clown, or several of them, stands up, and the rest feel obligated to stand as well. It is supposed to be a supreme sign of respect. I have never received one, but I have had several people stand up in restaurants and bars and ask me to leave the premises.

I do not know where your lethargy springs or crawls from. I never realized that it was somehow connect to ocular migraines. But if Meredith did the research, then it must be so.


7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Lane!
Villa Lobos was/is a favorite of Stuart Zobel, who suffered the same fate at the Cuckucks' Nest as you, but with less inhumane consequences.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Stuart just became one of my facebook friends.
He has a very interesting picture of himself on his site.
Senor Muerto

8:07 PM  

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