kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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drums, drums in the deep

We went to the orchestra last night to see the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 and the old Philadelphia Orchestra standby, Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 but the real winner, completely unexpectedly, was this filler piece called "Minea" by a Finnish composer named Kalevi Aho. I found it here in symphony cast, conduced by Osmo Vänskä, who also guest conducted last night it was like the score of an unbelievable 20 minute battle sequence from Shogun. Seriously, I kept imagining some guys climbing up the side of a mountain with a sword strapped to his back and over here, you can see a whole army, and they're climbing down the mountain, then they start hurling boulders, and the guy dodges them, and he keeps climbing, then there's a fierce little battle, and then more climbing, then a pirate ship comes into the cove and they start firing cannons ... but wait, our hero has a bow and arrow and some sticks of dynamite ... that sort of thing. It was powerful and stirring and when it was over, we burst into applause and trillian_stars actually barked, like a sea otter, well, halfway between a bark and a "whoop."

"You barked, my darling," I said. "I barked at the orchestra," she replied "It was unavoidable."

But yeah, Minea was awesome. and Osmo Vänskä was a real delight to watch. He jumped up and down, he pointed with his feet, he writhed, he was electric. You think of conductors as stogy, ah, but not this guy.

Then came the Liszt which, what can I say? It sounded like Lizst. It was like someone rolling a piano down a hill. There were some wonderful cello bits and finally a clockwork collection of piano notes like a beautiful jumble of legos being tumbled in a bag. The soloist was a young French pianist named Jean-Frederic Neuburger had a rumpled nerdish charm and incredible talent. It was Liszt. The Siebelius was a lot more interesting than the recordings I'd heard of it and listening is really no substitute for watching -- the cello's performing these endless intricate riffs that would have sent Randy Rhodes into spasms all the while looking slightly bored as though it was no challenge.

We walked home arm in arm and the weather was so wonderful we decided to have a midnight bar-b-q in the back yard and we sat out there looking up at the stars with the opossums running around our feet and the cats all clustered on the porch and I thought this really is the most marvelous life.

Do something awesome today.

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