tchaikovsky piano concerto #1 @ NEC

Starting out niiice week of music with Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto. Actually they also played Beethoven’s symphony #1 but must admit i completely unfamiliar with it to say much.. but knowing lots of duet piano with woodwinds, of course first row side balcony is the place to be:


So, i must admit somehow I couldn’t hear the soft piano playing bit (hence shaping of the phrases) very well, not sure if it’s because i too close to side violins.. so perhaps wait a bit for them to upload the performance and have a listen to the “real” recording to get the impression… so besides a note of how superbly nice it is to be back again in such a concert hall and have access to this quality of music for free, i’ll offer instead Martha Argerich for discussion! And promptly, we’re going to start with duet:

In fact you can contrast this slow movement very well with Mozart’s sinfonia concertante 2nd movement, at least based on my partnership theory :-). Here, it’s more the story of a rebellious child turning into a leader of the pact (i’ve been spending lots of time lately discussing what it means to lead own research and group…). Indeed it is a fact of life because it seems in a pact not everyone knows where things are going and people tends to follow the crowd, even if it’s stalling or sometimes going backward, and not too many has a clear vision of where things are heading. In this case, we have the pact first entering a discussion, leading by flute and piano. (20m40s-21m45s) Look at the photo at that timetag, she’s really in the discussion mood :-), as well as diplomacy in leaving trailing/hanging notes for others to reply. Immediately the oboes + horns joined in as they tossed phrases back and forth, followed by cellos at 22m52s. It’s at this point where i also thought the NEC cello was not forming enough phrasing.., but let’s get back to our leader, who finally had it with indecision and stomped her foot down EXACTLY at 23m58s with the highest note, a turning point. A leader is established, an outline is provided with all details from 24m0s to 24m20s with everyone quickly getting back in line marching. The way they go about it to start and end the 3rd movement, it’s rather that they violently agree. This is sometimes the way you negotiate just to fight against the old way of thinking.

For the rest, I hope you enjoy. I picked the “audio-only, but good quality” version so one can pay attention to the details. This is one of those pieces I knew by ear by heart after having it on repeats throughout my undergraduate times, and is one of those that brings back loads of memory of coming-out time. So it’s great to hear again live, probably only my 3rd time.. Will post the recording of tonight concert when it’s up so we can debate whether phrasing is clearer, in which case perhaps the orchestra might have been too loud in the concert hall and covered it.. But it was very nice to see the conductor being super supportive of our young piano-concerto-winner by constantly bending his neck 90–120deg to follow piano playing while directing the orchestra. Superb start to the week already i can tell.

About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

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