on 10 July 2009
Gustavo Dudamel and his orchestra of young disciples are an inspiration to the world of classical music and just seem to always blow away the cobwebs from what ever regular repertoire piece they attack. Maybe the polish and refinement arent always up to the standard that many of the old school insist on but they keep good music alive as we slip further away from the great era of these masterpieces. You can enjoy this concert from two perspectives. One for the music and performance itself and secondly to enjoy the great ammount of pride as well as pleasure on the face of each and everyone of these young talented musicians. The top line soloists in the Beethoven concerto are excellently matched by their supporting orchestra and conductor which blend perfectly in a concerto that can sometimes seem like a piano trio with an orchestral accompaniment. The Mussorgsky does not leave a corner or fold of the score orchestrated by Ravel unexplored and its a wonder Dudamel is not on his knees by the final chords. The two encores just build on the excitement with the standard Austrian followed by their own touch of latin vibrancy ending in party mood.
The accompanying workshop to Mahlers first is even more enjoyable and Dudamels explanations and points of view just make you want to see more of the same.You can really feel his pasion for conducting in his explanations of different sections. Please,please,please DG, more of this type of prgramme from these latin kids off the block.Love it!
on 12 November 2009
You ought to buy this only for the pleasure of Music making. Pleasure which seems to be so absent from the many professional orchestras I attend over here. But on the other hand it can be a Deutsche Grammophone marketing trick: `hey guys, smile and enjoy, dance on the stage etc., give us pleasure and we'll make a nice marketing fuzz/hype around you and your brilliant conductor'. You never know! But don't mistake me, I think the intentions of the Venezuelan music programme are unique and extraordinary successful. After all this is a very nice programme with music in which every orchestra can excel. And these youngster do.
In the Beethoven the recording was for me too much concentrated on the trio; I couldn't - for instance - hear the horns very well through the wall of sound of the trio. Listened to it by way of headphones. It's a question of balance (not Moody Blues) on the miking console. In a hall a solo cello can never achieve such a massive sound mr. Capucon produces, so he must have been helped by the recording. The pro is you can now hear how beautiful Beethoven wrote for the cello!
Of course it's ridiculous to play Mussorgsky/Ravel's Pictures with 14 contrabasses and a 100+ orchestra overall, but in the large and very wide hall this Salzburg venue is, it must have sounded very impressive. The recording doesn't let down either, but for me slightly more weight on the recording perse could have been achieved by pumping up the dynamics or setting them somewhat wider. A joy.
The extra is a lecture/rehearsal for Mahler's first Symphony. A nice presentation with some jokes here and there and some observations around Mahler's music you'd never have heard before. Dudamel hears a tango in a phrase and some beggars begging for money and bread in another piece. No problem with that; just interesting observations. It's a rehearsal and you can hear balancing all the instruments is a very difficult job. For every orchestra and for this one too. Hope they cleared that out in the real performance. I'm sure of it.