Happy New Year to everyone! We celebrated by going to the Colorado Symphony's annual New Year's Eve concert. It was fun, as always, with a few changes to their typical program.
The opener was a waltz by Ernő Dohnányi from The Veil of Perretti. I was hoping it was from later in his career, which was more interesting, but this is clearly a Strauss knock-off. This was followed by the orchestral version of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody #2, which is not my favorite Liszt. At this point I was a little annoying by Scott O'Neill's conduction, which managed to be both simple and confusing at the same time. The orchestra did not seem together. There were also clearly a lot of subs in the orchestra for the holiday.
This was followed by the final movement of the Chopin Piano Concerto #1, which is a strange choice for a single movement. It's the least interesting movement in that concerto, and probably the least interesting of the finales from his concerti. It was played by Christina Lan, who played nicely, but not fantastically.
The first great performance of the evening came from associate concertmaster Claude Simm, who played the Monti Czardas stunningly, particularly the harmonics. He's an incredibly talented musician.
The second half of the concert brought out all the old Strauss chestnuts which were well-appreciated by the audience. O'Neill did his best conducting of the night on The Blue Danube, which has to be one of the most perfectly constructed compositions of all time. It's a wonderful way to ring in the new year!