G. Kancheli, Lament, G. Kremer, etc.
The stop-and-go pianissimo and piano start of the work, beautifully melodic and with a catchy rhythm, gave the audience ample opportunity to cough right into the most tender passages. For its beauty, Lonesome pays with lack of originality. The sudden, terraced tutti outbursts that end even more suddenly we already know from him and other conservative East European composers. I like Kancheli's work, which I know mostly from a slew of ECM releases: this is not one I’ll be quick to add 2myCollXtion.
D. Shostakovich, Complete Concertos, G. Kremer, H. Schiff, V. Mullova, P. Jablonski, C. Ortiz
The attack of the second movement temporarily turned Kremer's instrument into a viola, before the aggressive high notes put an end to this. Vigorously quoting Shostakovich's initials (D-S-C-H), Kremer's bow looked like it had seen fierce battle. Amid half a dozen flying strands of horsehair, Kremer gave a good amount of ferocity to the wild Scherzo, without his relatively small tone ever losing its lithe quality. The rhythm of the entire movement was infectious. Meticulously carved notes dominated the long third movement's Passacaglia: Andante and the Presto bit of the fourth movement, Burleque, ended the work on a note of (much appreciated, judging from the applause) vigor.
C. Debussy, La Mer, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
Ravel's La Valse is Johann Strauss, Jr., on acid, but for all the turmoil in which Ravel found himself when writing it, it's essentially good-natured and not as cynical or scathingly ironic as Mahler's often twisted use of the waltz and its forms. Well played as the BSO offered it, it was a joy to hear.
After his Carnegie Hall appearance, violinist Gidon Kremer will appear again in this area, with his group (the Kremata Baltica Soloists), on Monday, May 2, 7:30 pm. They will present a program of music by Shostakovich and Alexander Wustin) at Shriver Hall, on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Md. They will take the same program back to Carnegie Hall on Tuesday.
See the reviews of the BSO's concert at Carnegie Hall with Gidon Kremer: Anne Midgette, A Russian Main Course Served With a French Dessert (New York Times, May 2); and Tim Smith, Big night for music of Russia (Baltimore Sun, May 2).