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In Performance: Home Openers

In today's Washington Post:

The National Symphony Orchestra opens its season with a colorful but lackluster performance, by Anne Midgette.

A recital by Cedric Tiberghien, the French pianist, opens the Washington Performing Arts Center season, by Joe Banno.

And a reprise of Joe Banno's review (also posted on this blog earlier) of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Time for Three.

* * * had a different take on the Time for Three/BSO performance.

The Washington Times, however, loved it.

Any other takes, on the BSO or any other concerts this weekend, whether or not they were reviewed in the Washington Post? Now that the season is starting again, I hope that people will continue to post their own views and opinions about concerts they've seen and heard.

By Anne Midgette  |  September 28, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
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Next: Thoughts on Music Directors


Having been at Strathmore Saturday night, I question Alsop's choice of the Higdon concerto for a season-opening concert. To me the work barely utilizes the orchestra. Why open the season with a piece which leaves large sections of the orchestra, and often the orchestra in its entirety, sitting with their arms folded doing nothing for extended periods (at least that's how it seemed to me)? Plus I agree with Ionarts (I think it was) that the orchestra parts such as they were lacked much substance.

The Brahms Hungarian dances fell flat with the audience. To me they lacked verve and definitely could have used more seasoning. But hey, I'd rather listen to Brahms than a lot of other things she might have chosen, so I can't complain too much.

The Tchaik 4 is an almost guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and it definitely served its purpose on Saturday. It's almost a no-brainer piece to open a season, because it definitely gets the crowd's juices flowing.

Overall it was a fun concert, despite my reservations over the choice of the Higdon piece.

Keep up the good work, Anne.


Posted by: shovetheplanet | September 28, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Let me rephrase what I said about the Higdon, FWIW: not only was the cadenza much too long (and show-offy, IMO), but the rest of the piece lacked meaningful orchestral involvement.

Also, Anne, how unusual is it for the National Anthem not to be played to begin the season-opening concert? I thought it was pretty standard to play it as a way of marking the special nature of the occasion. Not sure why Fischer wouldn't have played it. Or maybe I'm wrong and a lot of conductors don't do it.


Posted by: shovetheplanet | September 28, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow, it's like Mitch and I share a brain or something:

Posted by: Lindemann777 | September 28, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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