Three great opening concerts ...

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Three great opening concerts ...

Post by slofstra » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:36 pm

With all my CDs and stereo in storage since the beginning of this year, I've availed myself of live and web concerts more than ever. This past week saw a bounty of great concerts that make me question the idea of collecting CDs. (But not too much, I miss my collection.)

First, our K-W Symphony opened with an appearance by 'Time for Three' whose main piece was a mashup of Grieg's Holberg Suite with tunes by the Beatles and Cold Play as inter mezzo's. This was well received by the audience, most of whom are over 70 years of age. To my ears the music crossed over a bit more than I might like, but I didn't mind being 'entertained' and my ears weren't too unhappy with the results.

Then, I watched the Berlin Philharmonic's opening concert with the finest 'Firebird' (by Stravinsky) I have ever heard. The audience responded with a 'standing O' which is rare, at least to what I have seen. Mind you, it took five minutes before they stood up. I'm guessing that no Berliner is going to stand up unless he thinks everyone else will too.

I think this is my third year, or maybe my fourth year, subscribing to the BPO's season over the Internet. Money well spent. With my CDs in storage I've been accessing quite a bit of the catalogue of back performances. As well, the web site has recently been augmented with video performances from the 'von Karajan' era.

And on Saturday night, for the second year running, I was able to watch the entire 'Last Night of the Proms' on the BBC iPlayer. This time though, in HD video and very good sound on a brand new computer I purchased for about $300 CDN, solely for the purpose of accessing video and sound across the Internet. The technology has really matured and dropped in price over the last few years. Anyway, Janine Jansen's performance on the 'Last Night of the Proms' was scintillating. You can watch performance highlights on 'youtube', but there's nothing like the entire 3 or 4 hour thing. The combination of pizzazz, English tradition and a reasonable level of integrity and quality in the music bode well for classical music I think. What the English have in the Proms is unique and exemplary, so the availability of this broadcast in high quality sound and video around the world is a welcome event, and I hope they'll develop an international audience for it. (I'm curious whether the Proms are available on US cable TV at all. I'm guessing not.)

Links -

Trailer only - ... stravinsky

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