Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cleveland Orchestra: Tchaiovsy's Fifth Symphony

Sibelius: Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (Vadim Gluzman, violin)
Unannounced encore for solo violin (Vadim Gluzman, violin)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.
Hannu Lintu, conductor.

Approaching the box office this evening -- a full 90 minutes prior to the concert start time -- I was a little surprised to find a completely full house -- not even a single standing room ticket to spare. Luckily, I already had a ticket though far from my "usual" (low-numbered) boxes. I was in Box 22, Seat F for tonight's concert, on the right side of the house, practically on stage [only one box sits closer].

I was a little apprehensive because the sound in Severance Hall changes dramatically based on where you are in the hall and while I've never been in Box 22, I'm not fond of the way the orchestra sounds when heard from boxes 16 or 18 and I feared the effect would be worse. That was most certainly not the case with tonight's concert where the orchestra sparkled with a resonance I can't recall from recent performances.

With the extreme intimacy -- being practically on stage -- I found myself with a view of the conductor's face and facial expressions (in profile) while shaping the sound of the orchestra that I've not been able to see from the more traditional seating locations, and honing in on the movements and indeed sounds of individual musicians. My only problem with tonight's concert was entirely my fault, to borrow a cliche "I couldn't hear the orchestra for the musicians".

To that end, the resplendent pizzicato of the second movement of the violin concerto and the delicious entirety of the unannounced encore played by Mr. Gluzman were certainly highlights.


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