saint-saëns sandwich – part II

and what (you may ask) was sandwiched between a pirouetting mozart and the complete first season of so you think you can slavonic dance?  well, absolutely nothing less than the second piano concerto composed by archeologist/geologist/lepidopterist camille saint-saëns.  after the best-dressed roadies in p-town expertly re-arranged to create optimal orchestral feng shui, the house lights dimmed and the oregon symphony’s 32-year-old guest soloist confidently marched towards the 9-foot steinway now parked on stage.  inon “the talent of tel aviv” barnatan calmly strapped himself into the bench and launched into a muscular preamble sans band.  happy thoughts of Beethoven’s iconic 4th concerto (written 60 years earlier) immediately popped into this rodent’s tiny brain – until the solo intro on monday night suddenly descended into the defiantly lower depths of the keyboard, ushering in the fantastically unique world of monsieur saint-saëns.  a compact pianistic showpiece of perpetual motion, uncle cammy’s concerto proved to be on par with the best of chopin and liszt, chock-full of crossed hands, sparkling runs skipping along, and rapid-fire block chords foreshadowing rachmaninoff in new york and brubeck in oberlin.  and oy vey… witnessing the impeccable mr. barnatan playfully navigate the onslaught of technical and emotional turns is something i’ll be seriously daydreaming about for the next week or so.  le sigh, indeed.

what’s that?  you weren’t there?!  well, first of all: shame on you.  second of all: the beav is feeling generous on this super wednesday, so *click here now for a glimpse into the chuckle-inducing, six-and-a-half minute second movement ~ then stick around for the grand finale.  [c’mon, it’s futile to resist… vintage rubinstein!  shaggy-haired andré previn!  beautifully shot!]

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2 Responses to “saint-saëns sandwich – part II”


  1. 1 Kirsten March 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    This was, in my opinion, the best concert of the season so far. It was a joyful and complex dance that I still have not come down from!


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