On Friday (February 17), Ashley and I took the train into Boston and attended the Boston Symphony Orchestra Concert (tickets were a gift from her siblings!). The BSO performed Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, Stravinsky's Concert for Piano and Winds and Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich. Peter Serkin was the piano soloist for the Stravinsky and the program was conducted by Stephane Deneve. I didn't want to write a "review" of the concert, but rather share some thoughts. So, I decided a bulleted list might be appropriate:
- The Ravel was beautiful - such a imaginative and graceful piece of music. The playing in the orchestra was fantastic all around. There was especially wonderful playing from the flutes and english horn.
- Peter Serkin was brilliant in the Stravinsky - he can play fast, let me tell you. And, he also played with great sensitivity. The 2nd movement was my favorite - it had a sense of great depth and urgency within the beautiful harmonic progression Stravinsky constructed.
- The ending of the first movement of the Stravisnky is sheer awesomeness. I love endings that are unexpected, and yet satisfying and powerful.
- The first movement of the Shostakovich is a brilliant piece of motivic development, and the orchestra played with great energy and passion. To me, the high point of the concert in terms of energy was the first few minutes of the final movement. The orchestra absolutely tore through the music and the enthusiasm was palpable. However, to my ear, they didn't recoup that level of energy, even at the ending. Unlike the Stravinsky, the ending was predictable, and lacked the satisfaction of a truly powerful and overwhelming end. Nevertheless, most people jumped to their feet and clapped with reckless abandon. I was left feeling a little underwhelmed, but still very happy to be there.
- Overall, it was a great concert and inspiring performance.