Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Cleveland Orchestra: All-French - Ravel's Bolero

Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin, op. 35
Saint-Saens: Cello concerto no. 1 in A minor, op. 33 (Gautier Capucon, cello)
Schmitt: La Tragedie de Salome symphonic suite.
Ravel: Bolero.
Lionel Bringuler, conductor.

As you may have noted, I've become far more selective with my Cleveland Orchestra attendance -- and bank account has certainly reaped the rewards but the side effect is it felt a little weird coming back to Severance tonight.

As of intermission, though, I was quite satisfied with my choice, and this was the most enjoyable Cleveland Orchestra concert from recent memory. On the beginning of this Ravel-sandwich of a program, his Le Tombeau de Couperin (Memorial to Couperin) was pure delight from the first movement that evoked the energy of an bustling European city with an art deco lens, while the second and third movements captured a more suburban spring feeling, perhaps with the stereotypical 50s housewife and children, before the festive and insistent final movement.

The clear imagery of the first piece on the program was countered by the second - Saint-Saens first cello concerto. While it was musically unobjectionable (and for the first time I found myself thinking, "Wow, this piece sounds French" [after having forgotten the "All French" title attached to the program) it didn't make a strong connection with me as far as emotion or imagery.

Likewise, Schmitt's symphonic suite from La Tragedie de Salome struck me as distinctly French and and a nice energy to it but didn't really connect with me.

As we reached the bottom of the Ravel sandwich the impossible-not-to-love Bolero closed out the program and as much as I tried to sit still I couldn't help tapping my fingers or toes (once I stopped one, I involuntarily started doing the other before finally admitting defeat and letting go to the musical pulse.


No comments:

Post a Comment