cello shots – part I

during his introductory comments last night, maestro carlos encouraged the audience to play with kitchen knives when we got home.  yep… just another night with the oregon symphony. [*ahem*]  written by thomas adès way back in 1997, asyla required the band to organize insanity for 25 minutes through seemingly random viola-soloing, double-bass-thumping, and paint-can-banging.  like andrew norman and henri dutilleux heard earlier this season, mr. adès is another contemporary composer focused more on sonic ideas rather than hummable melodies and toe-tapping rhythms.  of notable exception, however, was the hallucinogenic third movement – an orchestral depiction of london dance clubs fueled by ecstasy and trance-inducing subwoofers.  (this rodent received unconfirmed reports from the balcony that timpanist jon greeney was sucking on a pacifier while twirling glowsticks.)  simply put, it’s music that blows you away.

the program ended with a tragic double suicide.  yep… just another night with the oregon symphony.  inspired by the timeless tale of romeo & juliet, the always-intriguing sergei prokofiev wrote his ballet music in 1930’s russia, and the band performed it last night with gloriously expressive delicacy and jaw-dropping technical accuracy.  wowee!  it was the very first time ol’ beavey got to hear this captivating score ~ to my ears it was less “star-crossed shakespeare” and way more “evil circus operated by highly cynical carnies” in tone.  i’m not sure if that says more about me than it does about the composer, but once again, prokofiev continues to engage and amaze and i can’t for the life of me quite figure out how or why.  [*sigh*]  yep… just another night with the oregon symphony, where the only thing one can safely expect is (you guessed it): the unexpected.  seriously.


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