nice to meet you, mr. prokofiev

seems like more and more folks i know are going to the symphony for the first time, and the beaver’s more than happy to give an occasional suggestion (or three).  among the lessons i’ve learned so far is this: listen to the music on the program you’re going to.  at least one of the pieces.  at least once.  i know, i know… when somebody goes to a show at the doug fir homework isn’t usually required, but trust me on this.  unlike a murder mystery or an m. night shamalama-ding-dong blockbuster, there ain’t no spoilers in classical music.  why is the beav telling you this now?  because prokofiev’s sinfonia concertante is on the menu this weekend.  it’s not easy listening, i’ll say that. to my furry non-musician’s ear, it is 37 solid minutes of disjointed, unmelodic, bitingly angular stuff and some of the most difficult music this season to remain attentive to.  making its acquaintance is highly recommended, and i offer you *part 1 (of 4) on the youtubes to get you started.  as an extra-added bonus, the guy playing the cello in the clips is the same guy who helped uncle sergei actually compose this piece, which is cool (at least to me).  that, and the conductor totally looks like he could be a server at clyde common.  be prepared (and enjoy)!


3 Responses to “nice to meet you, mr. prokofiev”

  1. 1 John Pitman, Music Director, All Classical November 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Good suggestion, State Animal! And I recommend that you seek out Herr Gerhardt’s very own recording (Hyperion 67705) at Portland’s own Classical Millennium (32nd & East Burnside). I’ll never forget the privilege of hearing Gerhardt play this very same work, with Carlos Kalmar, when I hosted All Classical’s tour of Amsterdam. We heard them play it in the Concertgebouw. Will never forget it.

    By the way, Gerhardt has recorded other concertos on Hyperion, and with OSO’s maestro, no less! (John Pitman, All Classical’s Kapellmeister).

  2. 3 Nancy Ives November 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Alban sounds AMAZING! The cello section (and probably most of the orchestra, too, but we were so carried away, I couldn’t tell) completely lost all decorum at the end of the first run-through this morning, whooping and stomping. It’s not all there is to it, but I have to say: Fastest. Tempi. Ever.

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