Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ades, Here and There

Reviewing the Calder Quartet and Thomas Ades, piano.

I also saw last week's SFS program: Mozart's Haffner Symphony (a competently routine perfomance), Ades's Polaris, and Stravinsky's Petruchka.

All thumbs up on Polaris, fifteen minutes of sheer gorgeousness over what sounded like a chaconne's repeated bass line (the program notes say repeated, interlocking canons). I wish they'd played it twice; after all, the first half of the program was about 35 minutes long, not including the necessary stage management. As for the video, by Tal Rosner, sigh. Very pretty, but for me, a distraction from the music rather than an enhancement. (This is my invariable reaction to complicated music paired with video.)

Petruchka was simply grand, a crackling performance of a great, great work. I first heard it conducted live around 1973 or 74 by Pierre Boulez; earlier this year I saw the ballet for the first time, which explained a whole lot about the music. Stravinsky: genius, but you knew that. All the musicians in SFS played their hearts out last week; great contributions by Tim Day, Robert Ward, and others.

And can I say this loudly enough, even though he's a modest guy? TRUMPET GOD MARK INOUYE. Yeah, I hope to have something to say about the previous week's Mahler 3, in which Inouye was absolutely incredible.

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