Friday, July 25, 2014

Menlo, second day

Back on Wednesday to Menlo for another day's worth of events, culminating in the marathon Zemlinsky concert I was contemplating on Monday.

Which by today was turned into this review. I let just a little of my irritation with the lecture on Monday creep into my third paragraph. Menlo has a chronic tendency to act as if the music's purpose is to give us insights into the composer's biography, and I will try quietly to undermine that assumption as much as I can.

On the other hand, I admired the actual performance - more than I did the works, in truth, though for those of us who go for the rarified in classical music they were certainly interesting works. Perforce, in the circumstances - which included not knowing the works as well as I'd like - my review is more of a description of the repertoire shot through with occasional comments on the performance.

Menlo's write-up on Zemlinsky began with the statement that "He was known to have said, 'My time will come after my death.'" (Possibly from here) Wait a minute, I thought: didn't Mahler also say "My time will come"? Turns out that apparently he did (he meant "when people get bored with Richard Strauss"). So that was my inescapable lead.

The prelude concert before it was good, in the manner that I described it at the end of the review. What there wasn't space or a good spot to mention was the Wednesday noon talk, by the Escher cellist on his slightly wacky project undertaken earlier this year to walk the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage route in northern Spain, with his cello, stopping in each church along the way to play some Bach. Accompanied, which was no less improbable a notion, by a film crew to record it all. And then to put up a web site about it and finally - what's not yet complete - to assemble the footage into a film. OK ...

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