Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CIM Orchestra: Sasha Makila Conducts Shostakovich/Corigliano/Brahms

Shostakovitch: Festive Overture, Op. 96
Corigliano: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (John Lee, piano)
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73
Sasha Makila, guest conductor.

A good friend joined me to attend her first concert at the Cleveland Institute of Music this evening. Through sheer chance we wound up a couple rows further back than my "normal" location. While we settled in with some conversation -- and while the orchestra warmed up -- I noticed that the orchestra seemed louder than I remembered and throughout the concert, the acoustics generally seemed more focused and generally favorable. Note to self: New seating location.

I've generally found myself to be a fan of Shostakovitch's works, but closer to the dawn of this blog and my exploration of classical music -- in other words, October 2009, I heard the Festive Overture and said that it left me "generally unfulfilled". Revisiting the overture tonight, that sentiment couldn't be further from the hall -- bursting with energy and with chest-thumping percussion, it was immediately gripping. The strings under Mr. Makila's baton were particularly lovely, and I don't think anyone could claim that it was played too quietly.

A composer whose name I didn't recognize, John Corigliano's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, was again beautifully clear with some great passages in what was generally a tumultuous and unsettled piece. Listening to the work I was trying to hear a story threaded through the work but I'm not sure I ever convinced myself of a single outcome.

Lastly, Brahms Symphony No. 2 -- where the music just sung so beautifully and to such an extent that I found myself lost amongst the notes and between movements. While the first three movements were a touch slow for my already short and seasonal allergy-impaired attention span, the fourth movement (allegro con spirito) returned to the impressive and extremely expressive joyful tone of the Festive Overture.

Overall, I think this may have been the most impressive CIM Orchestra Concert to date, an I'm certainly glad that I heard this version of the Festive Overture -- I think I may have to download it from InstantEncore, which considering my gneneral avoidance of recorded classical is high praise indeed.


1 comment:

  1. The concert is now available at InstantEncore: