Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cleveland Orchestra: Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Project

(My commentary on the Cleveland Museum of Art's Treasures of Heaven will be appearing tomorrow...while I attended the member's reception, due to rather tight scheduling between that event and this concert I have not yet seen any of the actual art)

One patron this evening asked me "Do people your age even know who Frank Sinatra is?" My off-the-cuff answer was "Yes, but..." most of the music on this evening's program was not music that I know; later in the program Mr. Feinstein made the remark that "If you have to ask which Mickey and Judy you're at the wrong show." By that standard I was unequivocally at the wrong show.

Despite being at the 'wrong show' the evening was enjoyable; the house appeared to be effectively sold out with a quite diverse audience. Mr. Feinstein struck me as more genuine than previous Celebrity Series headliners, and the music was well balanced between Mr. Feinstein's ensemble and the Orchestra*. Going into the concert I had a "What was I thinking? I really don't like Frank Sinatra" moment. Like classical, as it turns out, this is music that is better enjoyed live.

The program noted only that selections would be announced from the stage and the titles of the pieces weren't announced so much as the history behind a particular song, as such, the titles shown below are merely my best guess after heavy Googling from my chicken-scratch notes-- if you have any corrections, go ahead and leave a comment or email me.

Mr. Feinstein is a fine storyteller and in many cases the story associated with a song resonated more deeply than the song itself: Leading into I Remember You he he related it to unrequited love and the "guy who never got the girl" (talk about a feeling I know well!); mentioning a trip where someone asked Mr. Sinatra if he missed someone the response was "I miss all of my wives".

Seizing on the opportunity presented by a perfectly mistimed ringing cellphone to parrot the ring at varying tempos and attacks elegantly--and entertainingly--hit the silence your phones point. As for the planned music...I have no complaints technically and I certainly enjoyed listening to it live more than I have any recording, but generally the music wasn't my speed.

The instrumental rendition of Brazil was by far my favorite with a wonderfully lively energy completely enveloping the hall. New York, New York and Luck Be A Lady fall into the 2 and 3 positions respectively.

The program (just for laughs: songs that I knew were affiliated with Sinatra are in bold)
1. Luck Be A Lady
2. I Thought About You
3. Exactly Like You
4. Time after Time
5. So In Love (from Kiss me Kate)
A1. Nokia Cellphone Ring
6. Fools Rush In
7. What Kind of Fool am I? (from Stop the World I Want To Get Off)
8. Just One of Those Things (from Jubilee)
9. The Real McCoy
10. How About You
11. It's Alright With Me(?)
12. I Remember You
13. Brazil (Instrumental)
14. Love Keeps Passing Me By.
15. Begin the Bigune
16. For Once In My Life
E1. The Lady is A Tramp
E2. New York, New York

Oh...and on a personal note, my mother will be visiting next weekend. I already have a few things planned, but if you know of anything going on, drop me a line!

*Footnote about bored musicians intentionally ommitted. You'll have to ask me.

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