Monday, September 27, 2010

CityMusic Cleveland: September Concerts Preview

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: Violin Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
James Gaffigan, conductor.

I had the privilege of being invited to another of CityMusic Cleveland's rehearsals. With a more than a bit of engineer in my blood I love seeing how things are put together--be it a piece of equipment or a building under construction or renovation*. While listening to this afternoon's rehearsal for the upcoming week's worth of concerts it occurred to me that sans a hard hat requirement, this is exactly what the rehearsal process gives the change to glimpse.

I arrived after the rehearsal had begun and settled in to a pew for some lovely music; aside from the casual dress for the first few minutes I was there it would have been largely indistinguishable from a concert. A wonderfully textured concert at that. Mr. Gaffigan was interesting to watch as well: At the beginning of his movements were conservative and restrained matching the music, suddenly exploding outward to match the burst of energy in a beautiful swell of music that not only hit me in the chest in the most pleasant possible way but also reverberated through the pew I occupied.

Likewise fascinating the attention to detail and the collaboration; hearing musicians suggest alternate approaches, trying them; subtle adjustments that could just barely be heard. Playing over the same line until it's just right...well, to borrow from Soundheim's Putting it Together, "You improve and refine/And refine each improvement [...] The art of making art…Is putting it together…Bit by bit, part by part, Fit by fit, start by start"

As glorious as this music sounded in rehearsal, I am doubly disappointed that I will be out of town for all of the scheduled concerts...but I'm glad that I had the chance to hear what I did.

The Free Concerts are...
Tuesday, September 28 at 7:30pm - Cleveland Heights: Fairmount Presbyterian (2757 Fairmount)
Wednesday, September 29 at 8pm - Youngstown: Stambaugh Auditorium (1000 Fifth Ave); reservations required - 330.747.4175
Thursday, September 30 at 7:30pm - Willougby Hills: St. Noel Church (35200 Chardon Road)
Friday, October 1 at 8:00pm - Cleveland: St. Coleman Church (2027 W 65)
Saturday, October 2 at 7:30pm - Slavic Village: Our Lady of Lourdes (E 55 & Broadway)
Sunday, October 3 at 4:00pm - Elyria: St. Mary Church (320 Middle Ave)

*-Playing a role, in the restoration of the Virginia State Capitol--a building where Thomas Jefferson Robert E. Lee and others have made their mark--remains one of the highlights of my professional career.

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