Maazel Done Good Tonight

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

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Maazel Done Good Tonight

Post by Ralph » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:24 pm

In it's Morgan Stanley sponsored "Maestro Series," with only one conductor highlighted, Lorin Maazel, the New York Philharmonic energetically approached it's end of the season at Avery Fisher Hall tonight. The hall was packed including about five rows of teens, mostly nicely dressed, all quiet during the music, enthusiastically clapping when it ended.

Maazel began with Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll." I love this work as much for the romantic story of its origin as for its soft and very beguiling strains. Very nice.

Deborah Voight came front and center to sing Alban Berg's "Seven Early Songs." The applause for her was so great I thought for a moment she'd do an eighth as an encore. She delivered the short songs with strong but not overbearing dramatic inflection. And once again the supertitles helped, if nothing else eliminating the turning of program pages.

Lastly, a rousing and coherent Bruckner Third Symphony, a work I've always loved. Maazel clearly relishes conducting this kind of large and often loud piece and he was in his element tonight, conducting from memory.

A very nice evening.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:22 pm

I just came back from this evening's performance. I thought the Siegfried Idyll a bit overdone and string-heavy; remember this lovely piece was originally written for about 15 soloists positioned on the staircase of Wagner's home Tribschen near Lucerne, and sounds far sweeter in its chamber version. Having visited Tribschen not so many years ago, I can assert that Maazel's huge group wouldn't have even fit in that little house, much less on its staircase. The performance sounded a bit sluggish too.

Deborah Voigt has certainly lost a lot of weight! Does this mean she can now sing Ariadne in London? She did well (and surprise, surprise, Maazel for the first time I've ever seen him needed a score), but I have to admit that when my great namesake wrote these droopy, dull partly tonal songs, it made me think that he became a great composer only when he began to forsake tonality.

The Bruckner 3rd, however, was just splendid. There was a lot of skepticism and gnashing of teeth when Maazel was appointed MD of the NYP a couple of years back, but when he offers performances like this he gives the skeptics little to be skeptical about.

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:32 am

Although Siegfried's Idyll seems to be occasionally performed with the small ensemble Wagner first employed, often it's by a rather large orchestra these days. I've heard it with a small group and it does come across as more intimate which was Dick Wagner's original intention.

But with a full orchestra it has, to my ears, a charming allure nonetheless and that's how I heard it on Friday.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Wallingford
Posts: 4534
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Post by Wallingford » Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:04 pm

An interesting little sidelight to this Siegfried Idyll biz:

When Rodzinski headed the NY Phil in the mid-40s, he and his wife had a son; and several principal players had the very-successful scheme to gather on their doorsteps (Christmas morning, I believe, too) and serenade them with the piece. The normally-sadistic Rodzinski was touched & there and then decided he'd record it with them (full orchestra, of course). :)
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:32 pm

I've never viewed Rodzinski as being a sadist. He was definitely afraid of the Philharmonic musicians and his son, still active in music, has confirmed the old story that he packed a small revolver in his tails for every concert as a psychological boost (he never drew it or threatened anyone with shooting).
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests