Thursday, September 21, 2006


What a show!

I talked Jay into going to the Kennedy Center this evening, to see Slatkin and Shaham. They started out with Walton's Partita for Orchestra, which I'd never heard (technically they started out with the national anthem, but that wasn't programmed). Pretty enough, fun last movement.

Then the Appalachian Spring suite. My eyes teared. I know every note in that piece. My favorite part remains the third variation of Simple Gifts, where the theme gets a stretto treatment in the strings. And the final statement in half-time is like an orgasm; you can feel the entire world converging, as if the purpose of all of time was this motion, this movement, to finish this gesture and... a few notes, a harp pluck, the sun sets, it's over.

Finally, Shaham and the Brahms Violin Concerto. He danced all over the stage, got up in Slatkin's grill, played that fiddle like he was ringing a bell. The orchestra was good, Shaham was perfect: he played, incidentally, his Strad, the "Comtesse de Polignac." Full-throated doublestops, soaring high notes, effortless, watery, wow.

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