When was the last concert you went in 2017

CSO kicked off the 2017/18 season last week. This year I did not attend the opening ( not too fond of this year's program ) but I was curious about rarely played Schumann's Symphony No.2.
Anne-Sophie Mutter is no stranger to Chicago periodically appears at the orchestra Hall. The most memorable for me was on 2010 Season opening,  when Muti unexpectedly fell ill to perform, Mutter went on the stage and played the concerto and directed the orchestra. The show must go on!

Muti/CSO & Mutter

PROGRAM

Penderecki The Awakening of Jacob
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Schumann Symphony No. 2

The concert opened with Chicago premier of The Awakening of Jacob. Probably most notable because it was used in Kubrik's Shining. Rememer that eerrie *non directional* music that hover around the haunted empty hotel? Like Ligeti's Lontano/Atmospheres, it is really cool to hear it played with full orchestra. Sheer scale of the sound albeit even in a whiper volume create the same supernatural presence.

 I must say that I didn't expect much out of Mutter playing Tchaikovsky's VC as I think her style is wrong for this sort of program. ( but you never know ) As I expected it was too soft and mellifluous not enough precision and lacking  *gestalt* for this score. ( my reference for this score is either Heifetz or Oistrak ) Audience loved her and she came back with a lovely Bach encore. My friend thought she missed a few notes. ( not a tie breaker for me. I have see her totally derailed out of concert once, tho. ) But she looked great in a striking lemon yellow gown.

Muti's Schumann was enjoyable. More fluid and romantic, perhaps  and less abrupt than Chaily's Mahler version I am familiiar with. Particularly Adagio was beautifully done. This alone was worth the admission for me!

Unusually this concert started with Muti playing 'Star Spangle Banner' everyone standing up and singing together. There was a single US flag on the stage, too. Very strange. I've never seen that before.

 

The Black Angels at The Forum, Kentish Town, on Friday 22nd September.

All very psych-rock, cool and impressive. I liked them the more for playing more quietly than the main support (A Place To Bury Strangers, purveyors of needlessly and aggressively loud music - ignore them).

Saturday, 15th July: The White Hart is a rather cavernous but excellent pub-cum-venue in Crystal Palace, South London.

Ese & The Vooduu People played there that night and ended up doing one of their best-ever shows; it was certainly the longest, and ended up with a mammoth jam session, with all kinds of random people and fans singing or playing along with the band. The epic Chic/Sly & The Family Stone/Prince/Hendrix/Sam Cooke medley will never be forgotten by anyone who saw it!

Kevin-W posted:

Saturday, 15th July: The White Hart is a rather cavernous but excellent pub-cum-venue in Crystal Palace, South London.

Ese & The Vooduu People played there that night and ended up doing one of their best-ever shows; it was certainly the longest, and ended up with a mammoth jam session, with all kinds of random people and fans singing or playing along with the band. The epic Chic/Sly & The Family Stone/Prince/Hendrix/Sam Cooke medley will never be forgotten by anyone who saw it!

Nice to see the picture Kev, it was one of my old haunts way back when

Friday 28th July. Went to see The Pretty Things at the excellent 229, just by Great Portland Street tube in Central London.

I think it was the best I've ever seen them: downright dirty and really on fire. Dick remains one of the great (and underrrated) guitarists, while Phil is a superb frontman. The (surprisingly and mostly) young and up for it crowd really spurred them on.

I can't remember the exact setlist, but they did SF Sorrow is Born, Mona, Little Red Rooster, Turn My Head, Big Boss Man, LSD, I See You, The Same Sun, You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover, Midnight To Six Man, etc etc. Fantastic show!

Thursday, 7th September. A benefit show in Gipsy Hill, South London, for the launch of the Gipsy Hill Green party, which is working to save the threatened Central Hill community, among other things. Ese and the boys put on a great show and managed to raise a few hundred quid for a great cause.

From the night, here's Ese performing one of my favourite songs of hers, "Up In Smoke".

Monday night and a trip to King’s Place (and an excellent little hotel just yards from the venue) to hear Zoe Keating.

Fascinating 80 minutes of playing.  Ms Keating describes the music as Cello and iMac, using multiple recorded loops made on the fly; record a sequence, play over the top and record that and then pick other loops, stop them, re-start others. Very difficult to see how she controlled it all except it involved her foot (perhaps feet).

One downside, the playback system had a noticeably different tone from her instrument. Enough to be audible, but not detract from some accomplished playing. Her payback system was miles ahead of the execrable efforts at the Pink Floyd V&A display we visited the next morning.

Altinoglu/CSO: Prokofiev, Poulenc & Gounod
Sandrine Piau soprano
Michael Schade tenor
Andrew Foster-Williams bass-baritone

Program

Prokofiev Suite from The Love for Three Oranges
Poulenc Gloria
Gounod Saint Cecilia Mass - CSO Premier

I didn't know anythig at all with this young conductor but I very much loved how  he lead CSO with a crisp and engaging rendering.

The program opened with Prokofiev with exuberant vigor and lots of angular jagged corners fitting of the composer's wit. Lighthearted and love its carefree attitude.

I also enjoyed Poulenc's Gloria. It has more of contemporary flair ( composed in 1959 ) than the traditional mass and his clear reading made the tune much easier to follow as well as Chicago Chorus rich and colourful backdrop. Soprano Sandrine Piau's voice was a bit thin but I appreciated her clarity and sensitive delivery. I appreciated Altinglou's precise direction filled with vivid colours but for the slow number it could been a little more romantic. He finished off with an exciting finale.

The back half of program was a Chicago premier of Gounod's St. Cecillia Mass.

This is more of your *standard* mass and it sort of lost me towards the end. Certainly not as powerful as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Where the music can alone can penetrate the soul. Strictly from the musical content, I thought this Gounod's Missa was just fair. Once again the soprano offered a nice clarity and nuance, the tenor sounded a bit stressed in upper register but I did however love the tone of bass-baritone. The small chap on the left yet he produced deep and resonant surprisingly far reaching projection.

Anyways, I love this conductor tho. Hope he can come back again. Very precise and but got a very nice flair. Here he's ad-libbing some Gershwin a la Carmen. I do very much like his grooves.

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Two in a row at St George's, Bristol. 

Last night, The Aurora Orchestra, in particular Mahler Das Lied von der Erde with a chamber orchestra setting. If you get a chance to see this young orchestra, they ard engaging, taldnted whatever thed choice of programme. For a taster they are on Radio 3 on Sunday.

Tonight, Leveret, three piece collaboration/arrangement of tunes old and self written,  gentle, peaceful and exciting. Try Two Nights in Chievley (really, two nights in a Travelodge brings inspiration!) and Henry Blogg (read his story and marvel at a volunteer)

Last night at G-Live Guildford - Clare Grogan (Altered Images), The Christians and Midge Ure. All three sets were superb.

Clare's voice is a bit richer that 35 years ago, but still sounding wonderful.

I didn't pay much attention to The Christians in the 80s, but now realise that was a huge mistake. Not the original line-up but they are very tight and great tunes.

Midge was awesome. Vienna live was breathtaking. His voice is better than ever. My ears are still ringing.

I’ve just got back from a wonderful concert by Ella Rundle and Eloisa Fleur, playing Kodaly, Bach and Ravel in Westbourne church, which is about five minutes from my house. It was put on as part of Wemsfest, the local arts festival, which is volunteer run and rather fine. As well as collecting tickets and serving wine, I had a chat with the musicians, who are both lovely. 

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