Tchaikovsky Without Teeth

Have you been to a concert somewhere in the world recently? Share your thoughts with us about the performance, the more details the better!

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Ricordanza
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:58 am
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA

Tchaikovsky Without Teeth

Post by Ricordanza » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:10 pm

As I listened to Saturday night’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, I thought, something’s missing. Certainly, with the commanding technique of piano soloist Stephen Hough, there were no missing notes. And guest conductor Robin Ticciati’s direction of the Philadelphia Orchestra seemed to get all the details right, starting with just the right tempo and flow in the famous opening. But where a passage needed a rush of emotion, or where a dramatic entrance was called for, there was just something less than I expected from both pianist and orchestra. How can I describe it? A certain rounding of the edges. The absence of bite. Perhaps some welcome this different approach in this often heard piece, but for me, it was Tchaikovsky without teeth, especially in the first movement.

So I was a little apprehensive about what we would hear in the second half of this mostly-Tchaikovsky program. My fears were unfounded. Ticciati led the Philadelphians in an extroverted and totally enjoyable performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

The evening began with a brief, impressionistic, and beautiful piece: “The Enchanted Lake” by Anatoli Liadov. Poor Liadov. Whenever one of his works is performed, the program notes invariably point out his claim to shame, namely, his reputation for procrastination or laziness. Liadov had initially been hired by the great impresario, Diaghilev, to compose a ballet based on a Russian folk tale about a mythical bird. When Liadov showed no signs of timely completing the work, Diaghilev turned to a younger Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, and the result was the immortal work, “The Firebird.” But Liadov did complete “The Enchanted Lake,” and it’s worth hearing.

lennygoran
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Re: Tchaikovsky Without Teeth

Post by lennygoran » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:43 am

Ricordanza wrote: The evening began with a brief, impressionistic, and beautiful piece: “The Enchanted Lake” by Anatoli Liadov. Poor Liadov. ... But Liadov did complete “The Enchanted Lake,” and it’s worth hearing.
Darn I checked and had a number of Liadov's works--Kikamora, Baba Yaga, Apocalypse but not this one--fortunately there's youtube--very nice impressionistic work! Thanks for the review--btw I love Tchaikovsky's 4 th sym! Regards, Len

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