Monday, October 06, 2008


Lisa and I saw the Philly Orchestra on Thursday night. It was the first show with Charles Dutoit as the new chief conductor, but more importantly they had Martha Argerich playing Shostakovich's 1st Piano Concerto!!! For those that don't know, Shostakovich is in my Holy Trinity of composers (Bach, Beethoven, Shostakovich). Obviously, I would love a guy who said "When listeners laugh at a concert of my symphonic music, I am not in the least bit shocked. In fact, I am pleased.” His music is almost schizophrenic, going from hilarious to grotesque to heartbreaking to tender and lyrical.

The 1st concerto is a lighter piece, filled with wonderful moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity and an almost hysterical and uncontrollable forward motion. Argerich was perfect -- completely destroying the piano during the more aggressive parts and snap-changing into a lyrical and subtle sound when it called for it. Awesome, awesome stuff. Here's Argerich playing the 1st movement, which is a good little snap-shot of the whole piece.

They also played Prokofiev's 1st piano concerto, which he wrote while still at Conservatory. I really liked the piece -- it definitely felt like early Prokofiev and he still hadn't gotten some of the kinks out yet. But the piece was a ton of fun and really showcased Argerich's virtuosity.

1 comment:

lynndunham said...

I miss the Philadelphia Orchestra. For years we had seasons tickets. It is one on the main things calling me back to the area. Thank you for this post. It has brightened my day.