now that’s pathetic – part III

a churning double-bass line gently supporting the mournful wail of carin miller packwood’s tragic, yet magical, bassoon.  that’s how tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony announced itself monday night at the schnitz, calmly introducing itself to me and unlocking many special doors of my tiny heart.  [sigh]  dear god: from first note to last, the music of uncle pyotr’s epic pathétique symphony is transporting, transforming, and nothing less than a miracle.  and to hear p-town’s greatest cover band perform it live?!  [sigh]  it’s pretty much how i imagine heaven.  after untold melodic glories, the opening movement checks out quietly with an unexpectedly languid brass chorale that almost made me drop to my knees.  [sigh]  catching our collective breath, it was time to cue the offstage ballerina troupe with a lighter second movement – a waltz whose lilting steps offered joyful relief, but whose odd brubeckian time signature of 5/4 subconsciously indicated a slightly shifting musical ground.  [sigh]  the third movement is pure, unadulterated, 100% tchaikovsky at his most bombastic ~ chock-full of fiery drama, sonic cannonballs, russian can-cans (!), and a thundering conclusion that is quite simply the most perfectly triumphant finale of any symphony ever written.  except that it ain’t.  [sigh]  pissing on conventional protocol, the composer concludes his final symphony with a devastating adagio that unfolds slowly, grasping for meaning that keeps slipping away.  a few death rattles are heard.  and then… silence.

the biggest beavertail salutes to maestro aziz and the entire band for breathing life into this tchaikovskian wonder.  and extra-special shoutouts to everyone in the back who had metal in their hands: john cox and the horns never sounded better, and jesus h. christ, what more can one rodent say about p-town’s battalion of brass from trumpet to tuba?!  words fail.  [sigh]

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2 Responses to “now that’s pathetic – part III”


  1. 1 Olin Williams October 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    If you want the most amazingly hair-raising 3rd movement, check out Karajan and Berlin’s recording from the early 60s. Astounding!

  2. 2 Abby Dawson October 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Yes, our brass rocked the Tchaikovsky, as did everyone else, and I loved how the Maestro kept his hands up at the end to let us enjoy the last of the music fading away and then the silence!


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