Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jane Glover conducts Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn

Bach: Sinfonia no. 2 in E-flat major, Wq183.2 (Imogen Cooper, piano)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
Vanhal: Sinfonia in G minor, Bg1
Haydn: Symphony No. 103 ("Drum Roll")
Jane Glover, conductor.

Tonight's program began with a little bit of baroque in the form of C.P.E. Bach's sinfonia No. 2, a quick little appetizer piece at just over 15 minutes and a sound that I can only really describe as woody and solid.

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 came second on the program with pianist Imogen Cooper tickling the keyboard. I have a difficult time describing, much less relating to music that doesn't evoke strong imagery and the first movement falls into that category. The second movement however evoked images of an elegant romance -- an intimate affair culminating in a candle lit bedroom with rose pedals for instance. The third movement took a lighter and more frolicking-down-a-garden-path-on-a-spring-day-with-your-loved-one feeling.

The third piece was by a composer who's name was new to me -- and given the fact that this is the first time the Cleveland Orchestra has performed this particular piece  from the 1760s, I suspect I am not alone. Though swiftly moving, it was a bit on the tingy-sound (I'm tempted to say baroque-ish, but this piece came slightly after the end of the traditional baroque period. Worth special note was a sweet violin solo and violin/duet.

Closing out the program was Haydn's Symphony No. 103 a;so named the "Drum Roll" for a, well, drum roll that appears twice in the first movement. The first movement begins dark, brightens up with a nice energy, and then the dark introduction is restated, much like the passing of day from dark through sunrise, daylight, sunset, and night. The second movement was delicate but necessarily firm. My mind wandered through much of the third and fourth movement snapped back to the music at the beginning of the fourth movement when a horn appears to be soliciting a response from the strings that never comes -- until it is repeated.


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