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In performance: NSO with Fischer, Maisky

In today's Washington Post: An NSO program to wet the whistle, by Anne Midgette.

By Anne Midgette  |  January 29, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
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Next: In performance: "Rheingold Curse"

Comments

I agree with Anne's review completely. The combination of the Bernstein with the Tchaikovsky and the Dvorak made for an interesting program that worked because the Bernstein was first. From where we sat, it looked like Fischer was having a grand time with the three dance episodes from On the Town. We noted and agreed with Anne's observation of the slightly disjointed opening notes.

I was unfamiliar with Mischa Maisky and so was in for a great treat. Ann's description of his cerulean satin smock did not do it justice. I could see it with my eyes closed. His playing had the same effect on me as the first time I heard Rostropovich, playing the Haydn C major cello concerto. Vigorous and compelling is how I would describe it. It demonstrated yet again that a musical performance does not have to be accurate to be wonderful. Ann noted that Maisky's playing had "a slight edge; sometimes slightly off pitch" which we also noticed and wondered if this was deliberate to give the music just that edge.

As much as I enjoyed both pieces played for Maisky, the highlight of the evening for me was the Dvorak 8th symphony. It was my good luck to have purchased, years ago, the George Szell version of this symphony with the Cleveland orchestra and until last night I had not heard a version to beat that, not even the various NSO peformances over the years, but after last night, Richter owns this symphony. In the lyrical moments of the middle movements it was all I could do not to sing along. And I had never before heard the faint trumpet repeat of the opening fanfare of the fourth movement. I too felt that one or two sections seemed a little slower than I would have liked, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the whole. Particularly effective were the very soft murmurings of the strings that would make the wind in Colorado aspens envious. And damned if I didn't walk out of the hall whistling as well. And not just because it was freezing cold out there (we were almost blown away when we walked out of the shelter of the building.)

Posted by: William Kirchhoff | January 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Errata:

Proving that one shouldn't just dash off a note after a frustrating day dealing with computer problems, I typed "Richter owns..." when I was thinking "Fischer owns..." I sometimes wonder if my fingers have synapses of their own.

Posted by: William Kirchhoff | January 30, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Heard someone in the audience commenting during the intermission - an weel dressed man, in his forties perhaps: "I liked the Bernstein piece. Is there anyone who doesn't like Bernstein? And of the cello pieces, I liked the first one."

I wouldn't go as far as saying that Fischer "owns" the Dvorak 8, but his was a marvelous interpretation, no doubt. And so was Maisky.

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | February 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

My 2¢:

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/01/nso-pops-bubbly-in-january.html

Posted by: Charles_D | February 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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