Wednesday, February 3, 2010

CIM Orchestra: Dvorak and Stravinsky

Tonight I heard the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra beautifully play two of the most stunning pieces I've heard.

Dvorak: Concerto in B-Minor for Cello and Orchestra, op. 104 (Mark Yee, Cello)
Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (The Right of Spring)
The CIM Orchestra - Carl Topilow, Conductor

In no simpler words, I felt like crap today after not feeling all that well Monday or Tuesday... so I stayed home and in bed most of the day. Luckily by the time my 7:00pm violin lesson -- my first in two weeks due to travel -- rolled around I was feeling much more myself. I also happened to notice the 8:00 performance at CIM on my calendar and figured I'd try to make a go of it.

Two amazing yet diametrically opposed pieces made it well-worth the gamble, and leaving me with a fantastic feeling. Dvorak's Cello Concerto almost immediately conjured images from his Symphony From The New World which preceded the concerto by two years. Looking into the history of the piece, there's some connection between the principal cellist for the debut of New World and the nucleus of the concerto. Mark Yee along with the rest of the orchestra turned in a fantastic performance; the first movement was my clear favorite, while the second was enjoyable, the third was a little too sorrowful for my tastes.

Mr. Topilow provided a an introduction to Stravinsky's The Right of Spring including some well-chosen excerpts and some humor from an English Horn and then launched into 37 minutes of musical bliss. Here again, though, I strongly preferred Part I (Adoration of the Earth) to Part II (The Sacrifice), which was quite dark.

There is some amazing talent in that building....


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