thrillin’ and chillin’ – part I

while the official title for last night’s concert was a pair of sixth symphonies, the beaver’s vote would have been for yet another weird sixth symphony.  following carl nielsen’s absurdly sweet-ass romp back in february, this weekend pdx was treated to yet another sixth (and final) symphony by yet another unsung composer to which coach kalmar has taken a fancy: bohuslav martinů.  i first heard of this guy last year when his work thunderbolt p-47 served as the opening act for chee-yun and her smokin’ hot fiddle.  what stuck in my brain from back then was not his music, but his bio [check it, turns out young bohuslav spent his first dozen years living up 193 stairs in the bohemian bell tower of st. james church].  the musical delights from martinů’s dreamy symphony #6 once again proved momentary and fleeting, but his bio lives on [check it, turns out ol’ bohuslav fell 10 feet off some balcony in massachusetts, cracked his skull open, spent the better part of a year tilted at a 45 degree angle while on the mend, and lived for over a decade with deafness, dizziness, and depression].  what the hell kind of strange music would someone compose while in this state?  well, now i know.

while the crowd recovered from martinů, the spiffiest roadies in p-town re-arranged the band’s seating and wheeled out (for the final time this season) the grand piano.  just when you think this sleek and shiny black steinway couldn’t get anymore gorgeous, someone like natasha paremski glides up next to it wearing an equally sleek and shiny black gown.  my imagination drifted to a femme fatale in some james bond movie leaning seductively against a highly polished aston martin outside a glitzy monaco casino… but wait, the concerto!  the 23-year-old paremski channeled a 21-year-old prokofiev as soon as her fingers hit the keys, and a packed schnitz sat agog for the remainder of this pianistic fireball.  after thundering through the concerto, last-minute maestro francis playfully cajoled natasha into an encore and (perhaps in homage to bohuslav?) exited by unexpectedly leaping off the front of the stage.  88-fingers paremski decided to give a departing shoutout to another russian, offering up a tender rachmaninoff solo before the piano was waxed and wheeled back into the garage.  nostrovia!

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2 Responses to “thrillin’ and chillin’ – part I”


  1. 1 Dan Rasay April 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    dude that’s a lotus not an aston martin. just giving you a hard time.

    oh did you sell your martinů inspired piece @ radish underground?

    • 2 classicalbeaver April 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      bro, i know… just liked this pic better tho. good news – my martinu painting is still on the market! i’m already thinking about what colors to use for my next work: the fall of bohuslav


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