Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Symphony concert

I don't go to concerts much anymore. Mostly, I'm too lazy and then the close runner-up reason is I'm generally discouraged from going because I'm usually disappointed. Being a professional musician is hard cross to bear. Sometimes, it can really spoil the fun.

I go to even fewer instrumental concerts, because it just doesn't interest me that much, but I did last night. Magnus and I went to the Opera House and heard the Hanover Symphonic Orchestra play Shostakovitch's 1st cello concerto and Beethoven's Symphony #3 the "Eroica". I really enjoyed myself.

The cello soloist, Claudio Bohórquez, is a young man born and raised in Germany, but of South American parentage. He's really an excellent player - he plays perfectly in tune, has a nice touch and plays very dynamically. The only thing I didn't like about his playing was his vibrato, which often was simply too wide and fast. Vibrato and this goes for voices as well, should not draw attention to itself. There is a range of pitch fluctuation and wave frequency within which the vibrato lends a liveliness, a vibrancy (huh!) to the tone and becomes a layer of color. It is a natural phenomenon with the human voice when the antagonistic forces within the larynx are in balance with one another and can only be perceived on notes of a certain minimal length. Instrumentalist must simulate this phenomenon by cyclical fluctuations of pitch. A cellist does this by wiggling his had back and forth rhythmically. If the vibrato spills out of these natural parameters then it sticks out like a sore thumb and is called either a wobble (too big and slow) or a tremolo (too fast). Well, this shouldn't become a lecture on Vibrato, but I thought it worthwhile to explain myself.

As for the pieces I didn't so much like the Shostokovitch (you can hear it if you visit Bohorquez' website), but it's one of those pieces you really should hear more than once to appreciate fully. That said, it was interesting to hear. Then as an encore he played a Bach Prelude. Now that's something after my own heart! Lovely.

After the intermission (I really don't know how people can down a glass of wine that quickly!) the orchestra played the Eroica, one of my favorite Beethoven Symphonies. They did it justice. And the orchestra itself is entertaining: There's the bald 1st violinist who only moves his arms (only what's absolutely necessary) to play; the bass player who's a dead ringer for Verdi; well, the whole bass section was pretty funny, actually; the violist with the shapely arm; and the conductor (from Essen actually), who had some pretty cool disco moves.

All in all, I'd say an enjoyable evening.

PS: Welcome Mona, my most recent follower! And thank you to all of you for reading my blog!


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