Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cleveland Orchestra: Honeck Conducts Tchaikovsky's Fifth

Martinsson: Open Mind
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (Lars Vogt, piano)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
Manfred Honeck, Conductor

Last weekend, Severance Hall played host to Case Western Reserve University graduation ceremonies; tonight -- as the last concert in The Cleveland Orchestra's 2012-13 Severance Hall Season -- seemed like the last day of school before Summer Vacation as ushers and frequent patrons exchanged calls of "Enjoy your summer", "Are you doing anything fun?", and "What will you do with all of your free time".

The Orchestra did not disappoint and during one of the ovations of the season, a gentleman in a nearby box could be heard to comment "[Honeck] really pulled everything out of the Orchestra". And he did.

Rolf Martinsson's Open Mind was a delightful 10-minute overture to the concert, starting with a bold and overtly cinematic punch, with explosions of musical energy, a gentle romantic interlude and the mystery of a dark dripping cave.

Beethoven's third piano concerto was a well balanced endeavor between pianist and orchestra, with the long orchestral introduction giving way to the pianists, taking up the music as if old friends conversing and occasionally completing the others sentences. The slow second movement was beautifully solemn and introspective and my favorite from the piece (I'll admit that the third didn't really hold my attention, though I have nothing against it).

The program concluded with Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, another beautiful four movement piece, though the third movement was undoubtedly my favorite with the waltz -- a gossamer-like piece where the orchestra, lead by the strings, just gracefully fluttered in midair before turning into an orchestral battle cry full of weighty energy.

See you at Blossom...


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