beauty and the beast – part II

…okay, the sounds of 80’s synth pop have slowly ebbed away and i’m starting to remember some things from monday’s concert… let’s see, there were violins, perhaps a cello… oh, there was a piano!  yes, yes – a beautiful grand piano was parked smack dab in the middle of the schnitzer stage…

…and 23-year-old natasha paremski was behind the ivories, filling in for 53-year-old yefim bronfman who canceled cuz of a bad ear.  on the menu was the first big orchestral number ever created by johannes brahms: his piano concerto numero uno.  you can call mr. brahms a lot of things, but timid is not one of them – this work is massive.  (jesus h. christ, the first movement alone is just as long as the 6-part haydn symphony we just heard!)  frankly, it’s a beast just to listen to the thing… i can’t even imagine what it’s like to play.  throughout the turbulent intro (i.e. soloist pants-crapping time), ms. paremski sat motionless on the bench, absolutely stoic before the brahmsian fires of mordor.  and then she began to play.  and play.  and play.  for 40+ minutes, she grabbed this music by the tits and threw it across the room.  it was breathtakingly gorgeous.  and oh, the band!  dear god, you want ‘em to wear powdered wigs?  you want ‘em to slip on gypsy bangles?  you want ‘em to tear open their hearts for all the world to hear?  i tell you what, this orchestra can play anything they want and knock it outta the park.  this program let so many players shine, it would be stupid of this rodent to single out any one musician.  nevertheless, a big-beaver-tail salute goes out to clarinet god yoshinori nakao.  and to jon “animal” greeney.  and to all the horns.  okay, i gotta stop.  besides, insipid karaoke memories of a boy named sue just started crawling back into my head…

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