tchaikovsky and fireworks at hollywood bowl

© hollywoodbowl.com

This is an annual event at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The Bowl is an open auditorium that can hold up to 17000 (according to the LA times). This year the program includes:

Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Bramwell Tovey
Tchaikovsky
Festival Coronation March
Violin Concerto — Baiba Skride (Latvian)
Capriccio Italien
Swan Lake suite
1812 Overture + fireworks

A group of 10 of us went to the event this past Saturday. After an afternoon walking up Mt. Hollywood to check out the “HOLLYWOOD” sign and Griffith Park Observatory, we arrived at the Bowl 1 hour early to indulge ourselves in vietnamese sandwiches + plenty of other food and wine before the nightfall. The estimated attendance for Friday performance was 11000, and i think it was more on Saturday.  Our seats were in section F3.
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Rákóczi March — my first complete opera

The Rákóczi March, also known as the “Hungarian March”, is the unofficial anthem of Hungary (according to wikipedia).  It’s a very famous piece of music; here’s a youtube sample.  I first heard it in a cassette tape of the 1996 winter olympic music without knowing its name, then again at a “Tchaikovsky and Fireworks” concert in Hollywood Bowl in 1997.  After some digging, it turns out Berlioz used the March in his opera “La Damnation de Faust”.  Since I knew nothing about operas back then and didn’t have much money, i only bought a low-budget version of the March.  A couple years later, after moving to boston, i found out the MIT music library has a recording of Berlioz’s opera and promptly checked it out.
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