Monday, March 30, 2015

concert review: Redwood Symphony

Randy Byers got to hear the Seattle Symphony play all three of Sibelius' last symphonies. I had to be content with a volunteer orchestra making its wobbly way through just the Seventh. Still, you could hear the Sibelius behind it, and the same people did once tackle the Sixth to similar effect.

I drafted my review when I got home, and then edited it in the morning. Just as insurance, I printed the draft out, and having it here gives me the opportunity to say a little about self-editing.

Originally I began it with the first thing I thought of to say, which was: "The programming of smaller orchestras can be particularly appealing. Avoiding both the well-worn classics and the shiny newest things, sometimes they perform more of the challenging, yet appealing, classics of the last century."

Later I looked at the second paragraph and realized that this first paragraph was entirely superfluous. So I cut it. Too general. It is usually a mistake in concert reviewing to violate the principle that performer, venue, and date should all get into the first paragraph.

I'd started out discussion of the Bartók with the soloist; why not, since she's the most important part. Then I had a following paragraph which began with the two sentences about the orchestra that are now, in the final version, before it. And to back that up, I then put in a sentence ("This 1938 concerto is a huge ...") describing the work in general.

Later I realized that I'd sidled sideways into the topic, and that the whole section was backwards. So I reversed it all, and it read much better.

The other late addition was the final paragraph. Something was needed to wrap it up, and this underlined the point about the third piece.

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