Sunday, September 30, 2007

This gal

I'll be hearing I heard Cecile Licad this afternoon perform Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto.


She and the orchestra have gotten mixed reviews from the Seattle Times and the Post Intelligencer

Neither paper took to Bright Sheng's Tibetan Love Songs.  Both seemed taken by the orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.  Seems like a given to me.  


The concert has come and gone.  Tibetan Love Songs wasn't as terrible as the Times and PI made it seem.  It was a little percussive, and the piece vaguely resembled the La'i love song (the source of the work's inspiration).  The last line of the program notes, I think, captures the essence of the work:

"he was struck by the beauty and overtly Romantic feeling of these songs, as well as by the natural, wild emotions (emphasis added) they generated."   

Licad played pointedly and with plenty of energy.  She didn't dawdle or dwell.  At times she seemed overwhelmed by the orchestra.  That could have been a result of where I was sitting.  Schwarz did a pretty good job keeping the volume in check, allowing Licad to reveal Rachmaninov's music to the audience.  The tempo problems cited by one critic weren't apparent to me.

You might recall, a few weeks back, I had a minor gripe with how the orchestra played the finale to the Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony during the season preview concert.

The finale was still, at times, very deliberate.  However, as part of the entire whole, Schwarz and the orchestra offered a very measured and poignant interpretation of the symphony.  I never felt the orchestra really let go as sometimes orchestras are want to do with the piece.  However, the result was, I think, a sadder, more introspective, and as a result, more emotional.  The Andantino second movement was about as good as it gets.      


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