Tchaikovsky/Sibelius: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra Concert Review (20 January 2017)

January 20, 2017, 11:20 PM · I just returned from hearing the Cleveland Orchestra perform their Friday night concert. What a night of music-making it was! I probably won’t go too in-depth in this concert review, but I’ll do what I can – just want to write it while it’s fresh in my head.

The concert hall (Hancher Auditorium) was beautiful! Wood paneling on the sides gave the sound a nice warmth to it (as I learned in Acoustics today). The program was Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major (op. 44) and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major (op. 43). I had printed the score to the second movement of the Tchaikovsky – I love how even though it’s a piano concerto, a solo violin and solo cello crash the piano’s party during this movement, even having a couple cadenzas of their own trading back and forth – the melody for that movement is beautiful. The rest of the concerto is full of fast scales and pounding away at the piano in typical Tchanikovskyan fashion, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to. I’m not sure how big of a fan I am of Sibelius – I love his lush harmonies and orchestration, but there’s just something about his music that I’m not sure if I like it or not… Either way, the orchestra (and Yefim Bronfman, the solo pianist) did a fantastic job, making clean work of some of the faster passages. It was a fun way to spend a Friday evening!

(Fun Fact: Sibelius wanted to be a professional violinist, but because he didn’t start till he was 15, he wasn’t able to pursue it as a career. He was good enough to play in quartets, however. He eventually realized how much music meant to him as a language, and decided to approach it from the composing side of things rather than the performing side. Sounds a bit like me…! I’m a violinist who is more interested in composition as a career, as much as I love to play the violin! And talk about it on this website and off!)


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