Thursday, April 7, 2011

Outpost: Chinatown

Los Angeles Philharmonic, April 3, 2011

Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

Music: Stravinsky—Concerto for Two Solo Pianos

Stravinsky---Les Noces

Ades---In Seven Days

Conductor: Thomas Ades

Stravinsky's concerto was played by Katia Labeque and Marielle Labeque (sisters). The one dressed in red leapt off the bench several times to attack the keyboard, the one dressed in black was stoic, they both turned pages thoughtfully. What was Ades' thinking this would do for his weeklong event? The ferocity from the simplicity? The beauty and tenderness in and around the ferocity? Two:confrontation:challenge:contest.

From the dyad to a wedding feast. Lively music and tender, Unusual stage set-up: four grand pianos in front of the orchestra of other struck instruments, unusually large number of singers on stage, 7 men and 7 women singing in Russian, subtext almost out of Chagall, whimsy and pathos, the very public happinesses and the secret sadnesses at the rite, as at all rites, but of life full. Music was colorful, the pianos and cymbals and triangles and tambourines et al.

Took an intermission and sat back for the main event: this is about creation, about rites and celebrations and 7 days is that. Ostensibly a concerto, and a good one, but with visuals which I don't have an opinion about one way or the other except to say that lighting the orchestra had more impact than the screen projections. Ades likes prettiness, he orchestrates old school---Ravel plus Bruckner, neo classical---but he isn't.

I'll need to hear all of this again. Order through Amazon.

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