Monday, August 13, 2012

final days at Menlo

Still no Mythcon report from me, but at least I finished up the Menlo festival, which ran to a close over this last weekend.

After getting back from Mythcon, I attended one lone Prelude concert on Tuesday, featuring Faure's Violin Sonata, Op. 13, which I wasn't all that interested in, despite its being supposedly the model for Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata, which judging from this hearing it wasn't, much; and Brahms' String Sextet, Op. 36, which interested me very much. But it wasn't a really satisfying performance. Sonority and ensemble were estimable, but except for a sudden breakout of vigor in the scherzo trio, the flow and structure were a snooze.

Much as I could probably have gotten out of the subsequent days' master classes on works that would undoubtably show up in full on the weekend programs I was attending, I was partly too busy but mostly too tired to attend any. Nor did I get much chance to listen to the unusual works on the program I'd be reviewing, so I came in quite cold to the Chausson Concert, Op. 21. I never much cared for Chausson. Until now. This is a marvelous work, dark - almost Russian - in its emotion and expressivity, and listening after the concert to the borrowed recordings I ought to have been listening to before it have only increased its impact. Here, have a touch of the most beautiful part.

It was a good concert, and the music was excellent, but whoever chose to include in the writeups for Chausson and Moszkowski words like "spirited" or "celebratory" or "rousing" was on meth or something. Here's what I thought.

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