Friday, August 24, 2007

Hollywood Bowl 5

Tonight's concert was significantly better than Tuesday's although with the same conductor. The program started with the Berlioz Overture to Les Francs-juges, not one of his best works, but a rousing start to the evening.

The highlight of the evening was the Saint-Saƫns Piano Concerto No. 5, featuring soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who gave the most sensitive, subdued and sympathetic performance I've heard at the bowl. He made the piece, which is technically challenging, look easy. Unlike many soloists who would use the runs for showy bravado, he played softly and allowed the piano to be just another orchestral color, particularly in the first movement. It was truly moving.

The second half of the concert featured two of my favorite impressionist pieces, by two masters of orchestration: Debussy's La Mer and Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2. Both pieces were beautifully performed, and the orchestra was much more together than Tuesday. It was a lovely night.

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