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In performance: Matsuev, Gaffigan make NSO debuts

In today's Washington Post: The NSO's hymn to Mother Russia, by Anne Midgette.

By Anne Midgette  |  February 19, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
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I am sorry that Anne Midgette's review didn't make it into my morning edition of the Washington Post. I look forward to the reviews to relive the experience of the night before and this particular review was particularly erudite. The concert certainly brought out the best of Anne's reviewing skill. This was a super concert, though at the end I felt it was a little like a meal where the coffee is served first, then the rich creamy, chocolaty dessert and then the casserole. I was very excited to see this quality of music and command coming out of a pleasantly genial, energetic, young American conductor, and I hope he returns to this podium. I find nothing to disagree with in Anne's review. I commented to my friends that if I had to listen to the Rachmaninoff for one last time, this would be the performance I would choose. At first I noticed it was a bit slower than what I am used to, but it worked perfectly. This was music not to be rushed but savored. There was one missed note somewhere in there but it was only a reminder that this was a live concert. There was no missed note in the rehearsal.

A comment about the rehearsal: after playing the concerto straight through, Gaffigan wanted to go over a couple of passages and he would say something like measure 124 in the third movement and all the musicians would turn their pages and start playing. But so did Matsuev without a score or with a brief glimpse at the conductor's score, seeming to start off flawlessly in mid phrase. How does he do that?

One final question: where does one find a therimin musician these days?

Posted by: William Kirchhoff | February 19, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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