Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cleveland Orchestra: Meetup: Vladimir Ashkenazy/Pictures at an Exhibition

Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1, in D-flat major, Op. 10
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (Orch. Ashkenazy)

Tonight's concert was to orchestral music like last night's recital was to chamber music: An evening of fantastic music, well played, in a great atmosphere, leaving me buzzing with a good vibe.

I attended the concert as part of the Cleveland Orchestra Meetup Group, and have tickets for Saturday Evening's concert so I will limit more detailed commentary on the concert until then, but IF YOU CAN STILL GET A TICKET FOR SATURDAY EVENINGS PERFORMANCE I WOULD SUGGEST ATTENDING. Seriously. It's Good. (And, from what I understand, darn close to sold out... Unless I can get something better I'll be in Box 15, Seat F)

Despite seats being off to house right on the floor -- while there are few "bad" seats in Severance and everyone has their own preferences, I disfavor the floor -- the concert sounded fantastic and the first two pieces, under Vladimir Ashkenazy's sharp baton were fantastic (the piano concerto with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet) and Askenazy's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition was amazingly full bodied and compares very favorably to the more well-known Ravel orchestration, heard at Blossom last year. I'm still humming the Promenade.

The Meetup group was also a wonderfully social event hosted and orchestrated by Orchestra staff member Jennifer S. including friendly conversation before the concert and at intermission followed a meeting at L'Albatros where I had a fantastic glass of Chateau LaMothe and much sampling of cheeses took place under the guidance of a sommelier de fromage. Near the end of the evening members of the meetup were heard comparing the odor and at one point taste of a cheese to that of gym socks or a petting zoo. I can honestly say I had not expected the evening to end so casually, or find myself laughing so hard.

So both the concert and the Meetup group are well worth it -- it was a great way to share the evening with people of similar interests.


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