exit through the gift shop – part IV

dear god.  here’s the thing about the oregon symphony: you can go one week and get totally blown away by the horrific shock that is shostakovich #5, or you can go to the next concert and get totally blown away by the sublime wonder that is ravel’s pictures at an exhibition.  [or do what the beaver does and never, ever (ever!) miss a single show, thereby avoiding the hassle of having to repeatedly kick oneself.]  the composition by uncle maurice is his completely masterful orchestration of a mediocre piano score inspired by mediocre drawings, and while it’s fair to give both *mussorgsky and hartmann credit for the role they played in the genesis of pics @ an expo, it is monsieur ravel who ultimately created the smash hit universally adored across this globe.  the work is a generous musical taster tray, fully loaded with orchestral 2-ounce pours that come and go before you know it.  as the opening notes of the oft-repeated promenade melody rang out through the schnitz, a palpable wave of recognition swept across the audience, and the crowd settled in for an absolutely majestic performance from our oso.  we collectively stopped in our tracks to first admire gnomus and to delight in sergio (the band’s newest bang-bang boy) who somehow brought to life a creepy wooden nutcracker using instruments this ignorant rodent refers to as “the wooden alligator” and “the noisy jewish eggbeater” (a whip and ratchet, if you wanna get all technical about it).  promenade 2.0 delivered a much quieter and pensive take on the original theme, which led without pause into il vecchio castello – a musical citadel where carin’s bassoon and kim’s sax hauntingly teamed up amidst the italian stone walls.  promenade (part III) briefly (and brashly) brought our attention back to the moment of museum-walking until (once again) the music led straightaway into another picture.  the famed tuileries were being sullied by tiny french brats arguing amongst themselves, so we decided to move onto bydlo, where matt’s agressive snare drum roll and aaron‘s earthy euphonium helped to push a polish oxcart right pass our ears.  we kept on keeping on until the ballet of the chicks in their shells interrupted us mid-stride… surprising the crowd with {hands down} the most freakin’ hilarious music of the 2011/12 classical season.  whew ~ at this point we were only halfway through pics @ an expo, but it was extremely clear to everyone in the concert hall that we were taking part in yet another (!) honest-to-god-unforgettable-powerhouse performance from the oregon symphony.  before my ramblings reach gate of kiev proportions, gentle reader, allow me to wrap up this post by sending the biggest paddle-tail salutes out to jeff and his piccolo trumpet (complete with straight mute!), to captain frank and his fascinating bass, to chris and her tub-thumpin’ drumwork, to játtik and charley who make a gorgeous pair, to evan “cool-man” and his orchestral subwoofer, and last (but certainly not least) to guest maestro cee-miggz prieto who earned a well-deserved, foot-stomping ovation.  jesus h. christ: just when ol’ beavey thinks it cannot possibly be any more in love with this band, they play something like this.  magic, i tellya… pure magic.


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