Saturday, September 27, 2008

Esa-Pekka Salonen in Leeds

This Saturday, the international concert season in Leeds started with a concert of the Philharmonia, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. I was very much looking forward to hear again this conductor, as he had been for years the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Sometime in winter 2005, he had given a concert of his own compositions in Thousand Oaks, which I attended. I had wanted to ask him then re. a joint project about computers and music, but I had been too slow in pursuing a meeting, and he had already left.

On the program was the Symphonie Phantastique by Berlioz and two works by Beethoven: the 2nd Leonore Ouverture, and his 4th Piano Concerto. I had not listened to any work by Beethoven in many years, as I felt quite familiar with his overall style. Yet at this concert I was quite surprised to hear the astonishing musical consequent compositional structure, which makes so much sense. In contrast, I still have difficulty following the musical thoughts of Berlioz. His orchestration may be brilliant, but I am not able to hear "what he means" by his compositions. Somehow like listening to someone who speaks a different language: I hear the sounds, but they do not make sense...

A problem interrupted the 2nd movement of the Piano Concerto: someone in the audience, sitting behind the orchestra, fell ill and fainted - the concert was interrupted, and medics carried the person out. The movement was not continued, instead the orchestra went rightinto the finale - and a few minutes later another one fainted, but this time without interruption of the music. There is a review of this concert in The Guardian (1.Oct.)

No comments: