Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I went to Midori's recital at Cleveland Institute of Music last night. My review on Cleveland Classical is here.

It was incredible playing, astoundingly controlled. Her bow hand is unbelievable.

But oddly, the fire was not there, even in the Kreutzer.

My pet peeve (you've heard this before): don't program the most intense piece for the end of the concert. Ears like mine get tired. Performers get tired. The juice runs out.

I think the second part of the first half is the key: it's when we're warmed up as listeners, and at our most attentive.

Frankly, I think recitals should be shorter, too: under two hours. We pay a lot  to hear these performers, but we don't pay by the minute.

More thoughts from readers are welcome!


CHEN said...

Oh I love Midori! I didn't know she came.....!
I would like recitals to be shorter,too ..but I thought I was the only one who got tired in long recitals whether or not they were good...
I agree that ending a concert with the most intense piece causes a lot of problems for both the performers and the audiences..
But it might be hard to change this usual way of programming, partially because audiences like to leave the concert hall in an excited mood

P.s.I imagine you must be a fabulous and creative cook :)

Harry Hoover said...

I think, like so much else, it depends on where the intensity is or should be concentrated. Just three weeks ago, I heard an all-Beethoven recital by a spirited pianist at New England Conservatory. It peaked too early. Opening with Beethoven's Op. 22, an energetic work flexing its post-Haydnesque muscles, we next were overwhelmed by the powerhouse Eroica Variations. After the intermission, it was all downhill with the single concluding work, the Op. 7 sonata, whose low-key (relatively) gustatory delights were subsumed by the riches imbibed at the same table just 30 minutes before. Vibrant encores reopened the taste buds.