hot green tchai – part II

shaking my head, i shuffled towards the lobby at intermission with my usual disbelief there was more music to come.  c’mon… some less refined reviewer might claim that midori grabbed jean sibelius by a certain set of body parts and threw him across the stage.  how do you follow an act like that?  i suppose reinforcing the orchestra with 4 french horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, and tuba couldn’t hurt.  it also makes sense to tap into the audience’s deep sense of national pride by ending the night with america’s favorite son, pyotr ilych tchaikovsky.  [digression #1: it’s always been a bit baffling to me how a chronically depressed gay 19th-century russian has become the most played and most well-recognized classical composer in this country.  i have zero evidence to back this up, but i suspect more than half of all americans have heard an honest-to-god live professional orchestra play the 1812 overture and/or the nutcracker.  no other composer even comes close to this feat.  ingenious soviet marketing during the cold war?  discuss.]  okay, where was i… ah yes, tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony.  hearing this guy live always seems to be a treat, no matter what’s on the menu.  perhaps it’s pete’s penchant for wearing his heart on the ol’ proverbial sleeve, for straightforwardly telling it like it is, for always writing with larger-than-life flair no matter the occasion.  [digression #2: um, perhaps i’ve answered my own question from digression #1]  anywho, the symphony starts out remarkably slow and somber, but quickly shifts out of first gear and is off to the hunt in no time.  during the second movement, i was reminded once again how tight our oregon symphony really is – at one point the score calls for a short loud blast from just about everyone on stage, and the very next note is a quick gentle pluck of the strings – aw shit i tell you what, they just nailed it!  shout out to the flutes during the third movement – word.  in typical tchaikovsky fashion, the symphonic big finale (complete with a fake-out ending that mahler would be proud of) had everyone reaching for their mortarboards, lightsabers, and dance belts.  i’ve never felt more proud to be an american.

time to gear up for next month – the final push towards summer.  is it just me, or do you smell some piano concerti as well?

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2 Responses to “hot green tchai – part II”


  1. 1 Alicia April 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Word up! Great review!!!!

  2. 2 GM April 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Nice histories intertwined with review. Thanks.


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