beethoven 9th round 2

So, i was again at the hall today, now with neck strain from giraffe-like stretching for better view of woodwind section the past 2 days. More confirmation of my love for the woodwinds, along with horn player, and especially violin section 1. They and woodwinds have the entire 3rd movement to themselves, with everyone else supporting, soooo *love*. wonder if i can send in a request for a copy of recording (if they did record) of today’s 3rd movement… you know how a particular section of music truly hit home for you while stir no others? how many times have i talked about 3rd movement already? this was truly the highlight of the evening. I’d go back 10 times just to re-hear this violin section version. It’s the same effect as in the Bach Matthews Passion with Freisinger orchestra: because it’s so thin the sound, you truly hear every single detail, agony, lamentation, joy, in mainly the first 2 violinists (there are more of them behind but all hidden from me, the sound came up to balcony though…). Every single turn of the bow produces goose-bump inducing sound, quite amazing.


The last movement, it’s nice to have music director + conductor Martin Pearlman explained it, since i’ve heard so many times without noticing… that several tunes were introduced and flat out rejected before 1 last one floated in the air by woodwinds… I enjoyed the chorus much more today, possibly because my seat was 5 more in toward the center (still same row)… If i can make 1 request, it would have been to swap out the soprano soloist – quite a shouting match… and slightly related, those 4 soloists’ voices don’t quite mesh musically… all giving the impression everyone was on their own (in the sound) tangling up fighting to outshine instead of complementary… which i can only take it as the fact that that happens at times that the voices just don’t mesh to one’s ears (like 2 yrs ago in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater also at Jordan Hall, tho it was more the mezzo continuously grabbing the poor soprano’s leg and dragging her into the mud…)

The idea of tunes introduced and rejected seems quite abundant in movement 2 actually, it truly looked and sounded like a messy town hall meeting, one with the young and joyful woodwinds tossing around jolie tunes (sec 10-30 in video below), violin2 + viola marching military-like insisting things should be done a certain way… esp. this part here where it’s almost as if the strings entertained the woodwinds idea twice (0.46-0.49, 0.50-0.54)… before insisting to follow the rule again (0.55-1.20) Then of course the elderly violoncellos intervened to remind all the stay civilized.. but right at 1/2 way, and new idea was introduced (2.20-2.35)! and apparently it’s a compromise, first endorsed by the elderlies (2.35-2.50) before being accepted by all it seems! (may be i’ve hearing too much budget fighting here in the US 🙂 ). It was this “new idea” tune that i thought was quite a rush in Martin Pearlman’s version, sort of being shoved in at last minute via backdoor instead of being laid out with thoughtful reasonings..

a few last words about sound.. i sat there thinking for a hitchcock movie you simply can’t use any of these instruments… modern is the way to go maybe.. until the piccolo arrived :-). But still, it’s quite amazing how mellow the baroque horns and trumpets sound, i don’t think singers would get drowned out! so naturally i wonder if we can try such orchestra with Der R :D.

(ps- oh, i must be sitting too high up coz i didn’t hear the “scratching” sound of violin as the first movement started, i know it’s there! (i think))