Friday, February 19, 2010

Cleveland Orchestra: Fridays@7: Musical Obsession

Wagner: Overture to Renzi
Wagner: Prelude and Love-Death from Tristan and Solode
Wagner: Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin
Wagner: Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin
Wagner: Prelude to Die Meistersinger
Wagner: The Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walkure
Post-concert music with Simon Shaheen, Joel Smiroff, Jamey Haddad

Based on the last iteration I was a bit concerned that the Fridays @ 7 format may have jumped the shark after only three installments. I am happy to report that that concern was premature.

While I'm becoming used to hearing great music, it's rare that music is so engaging as to be hypnotizing, even more rare to have that event happen twice in one month, let alone the same evening. Such was the case tonight, with the Orchestra's opening Overture to Rienzi and the first piece played by the band and Joel Smirnoff (of which I missed the title) in the Grand Foyer after the orchestra's concert.

The remainder of the orchestra's program was quite enjoyable-- the Overture to Renzi and Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin being my new discoveries of the evening, and Ride of The Valkyries being quite possibly the first classical piece I heard specifically as classical (and setting up my bad habit of referring to the composer as wag-ner instead of vog-ner).

The music of Simon Shaheen didn't quite rise to the level of Beat the Donkey but was nonetheless enjoyable, especially the highly energetic violin playing of Joel Smirnoff, CIM's President--considering that institution's staid reputation I was impressed to see him jamming and toe-tapping away. Returning the after concert music to the foyer was an excellent decision and you could feel the energy -- both music and conversation -- pulsating through the room.

The only negative was that I already have the sensation that Prelude and Love-Death from Tristan and Isolde is over-preformed, disheartening considering I've only heard the piece once before -- four months ago.

The next Fridays @ Concert promises flamenco Friday, April 30th, 2010.
At this point I think I'm giving Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutti a pass, but if you're interested act quickly--it looks like there are relatively few seats remaining.


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