Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cleveland Orchestra: Franz Welser-Most and Julia Fischer: Brahms Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2

Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 (Julia Fischer, violin)
???: 3rd movement from Sonata in G (Julia Fischer, solo violin)(Encore)
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
Franz Welser-Most, Conductor.

Despite United Airlines best attempts to both kill me and leave me naked over the past two weeks -- long story -- my clothing and I survived. And I  made it into Severance Hall for a delightful concert, although slightly under the weather from a bug I no doubt acquired at one of the airports I passed through.

My seat for this evening was in the front of  Box 19 -- much further "house left" from my usual perch, and given the horseshoe design of Severance Hall, also much closer to the stage then I believe I've been in a very long time. While in was concerned this would affect the acoustical balance, that effect was barely noticeable. What was noticeable was the incredible intimacy one has with the orchestra -- peering over the violinists shoulders -- if you will.

This angle provided a bit more immersion -- and with it a heightened sense of the minute details that come together to make for a delightful concert.

Ms. Fisher's performance of Brahm's violin concerto was technically excellent, but the first movement was somewhat lacking in the "passion" department -- and passion is what makes the Cleveland orchestra so compelling -- this recovered, however, by the third movement and with a festive, gipsy-ish flare that I find hard to resist.

Leaving the hall, it seemed like the question on everyone's mind was "who was the composer for the encore?" -- no one (including yours truly) had an answer better than "It started with a P", but that didn't dampen its reception -- and time seemed to stand still while she was playing.

While I am wary of "all the same composer" programs -- and I need not hear any more Brahms for a while -- the program concluded with a captivating performance of his Symphony No. 2 with a variety of orchestral colors and flavors -- from the bold introduction and tender ending of the first movement and irresistible sentimentality of the cellos in the second movement, to the pastoral colors giving way to drama of the third movement, and finally the festivities lurking amongst the fourth movement.


1 comment:

  1. The recording of this concert including the encore: