Tag: Vivaldi

A Muscular Four Seasons

| May 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Sarah ChangVivaldi’s Four Seasons is one of the world’s most familiar classical music pieces.  Everyone recognizes the various movements from movies and popular culture.  But I expect that few really know what they are listening to.  So, it was a pleasure to hear the entire work last night at the Strathmore,, start to finish, including all four concertos and twelve movements.

But first, we heard a much more obscure piece.  It was called Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss, a German.  It was composed in the 1940’s and was some sort of commentary on Hitler and the Nazis, thus not exactly uplifting.   Expecting the liveliness and accessibility of the Four Seasons, my wife Rita thought we’d wandered into the wrong concert.  Frankly, it was pretty tedious.

After the intermission, we were in more familiar territory.  We were given a very helpful “cheat sheet,” that explained how the music related to each season.  While very literal, it was delightful.  The star soloist was Sarah Chang, a Korean American virtuoso.  I was most struck by her confidence and aggressiveness.  Maybe it’s typical of musicians at that level, but she played with great power and, of course, didn’t miss a note on a piece of which most people in the audience probably knew every note.  She was amazing. I was actually looking forward to the encore where violin soloist generally cut loose.  Sadly, there was no encore, even after three curtain calls.

The evening also reminded me what a treasure the Strathmore Music Center is.  It is a beautiful facility and extremely convenient.  They don’t even charge for parking.  And no traffic jam at the end.  I was in my home 15 minutes after leaving my seat.  Gotto go back soon.