slippery when wet – part I

we already know maestro carlos is one hell of programmer, but last night’s musical line-up also proved to be eerily synchronistic.  with a pair of nautical bookends opening and closing the concert, the recent images out of japan kept surfacing in my mind’s eye: drowning sportscars, grounded freighters, tides of bodies.  jean sibelius’ oceanides, not yet a century old, all-too-perfectly captures oceanic power with giant, rolling waves of sound.  bubbling up impressionistic and blurry, the piece reached a terrifying climax as timpani, strings, and brass rode the crest of a massive white-capped swell.  thankfully, the piece was only 10 minutes long and ended peacefully enough, receding back into the horizon, the damage done.

mercifully, latvian fiddler baiba skride (absolutely glowing in this silvery-lavender, toga-like gown) graced the schnitzer stage to deliver some good news.  the violin concerto by aram khachaturian [aka: the armenian gershwin] is pretty much pure delight, and with every listen i keep falling more deeply in love with it.  brought to life by baiba and the band, this stradivarius showstopper was filled with energetic sweetness and jaunty vitality.  the melodies… fresh, the solo sections… sick, and the orchestration (with some especially kick-ass clarinet-playing by todd “goodman” kuhns)… gnarly. introduced by an insanely victorious fanfare, the final movement bursts into being and is just, well… it’s just something else, i tell you what.  evidently you can play 9 simultaneous notes on a violin.  well, at least baiba can.

[utterly random addendum ~ this is how the composer spells his name in georgian: არამ ხაჩატურიანი.  ain’t it purdy?]


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