much ado about something – part III

phantom of the franckmelodramatic and uncomplicated, the closing work of monday night’s concert could have passed for a symphony by andrew lloyd webber.  [the beavs half-expected to hear a few bars from music of the night occasionally creep in here or there.]  for reals though, the composition was césar franck’s symphony in d-minor and (unsurprisingly) the grammy®-nominated oregon symphony brought it home in appropriately grand fashion.  classical geeks the world over agree uncle césar’s one-and-only symphony has fallen out of fashion, and the fact that p-town’s big band hasn’t played the darn thing in over 16 years ain’t that surprising.  for all its supposed shortcomings, however, any symphony that requires a wall of brass and gives jon “animal” greeney ample opportunity to wail away on those kettledrums is more than okay in this rodent’s kind-of-humble opinion.  melodramatic and uncomplicated might be two fitting adjectives for this currently maligned piece, but gosh darn it, fun and painless are another pair perfectly apropos… and perhaps classical programs in general need more of that stuff.  besides: if the listener’s (or musician’s) mind began wandering during the performance, there was always maestro tzigane’s swooping arms, crouching stance, and luxuriously bouncing hair to bring one back to the present, incredible moment.

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um, have y’all heard the exciting news?  last night the oregon symphony snagged a grammy nomination for their first album released under the baton of maestro carlos!  their very excellent recording of their very excellent program music for a time of war scored a nod in the best orchestral performance category, alongside big bands from san fran, minneapolis, budapest, and london.  congratulations, holy smokes, and yay!!!

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