Sunday, December 05, 2010

TCHAIKOVSKY

The Colorado Symphony gave a nice performance of some Tchaikovsky works this evening. Three standards that we've all heard many times before. Four selections from the Nutcracker were a nice way to open the evening, although only our make it a bit unsatisfying, and the orchestra was not always together. Peter Oundjian was the guest conductor; it was the second time we saw his this season. My first review was no so good. You can read it here.

The second piece on the program was the Piano Concerto Number 2. The Bb concerto is so well known that it is overplayed (we've seen it at least three times). Comparatively, this makes #2 underplayed. It's not a great piece of music. The harmonies rely heavily on the cliche of ascending diminished chords played very heavily. Time has not been as good to this piece as #1. Stephen Hough played very emotionally, and quite well on the intimate, quiet parts, but he pummeled the piano with his fists on the runs far too much.

By far, the highlight of the evening was the Symphony #5. This is another overplayed piece, but I have to say it was conducted and played so well that it made me rethink my criticisms of the conductor. He managed to conduct very emotionally and freely, yet kept the orchestra together at all times. Everyone played well, but the horn solo was outstanding.

This was our last concert until New Year's Eve. Our last one was Halloween. I look forward to New Year's!
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