Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beethoven and Goebbels at the Ordway Theater

Last night, Sandy and I got to hear three different orchestras at an event that is part of the SPCO's 50th International Anniversary Chamber Music Festival.

The evening opened with Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing the Emperor (Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5) with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. I am not a huge Beethoven fan, but I do like this rather unusual piece, with the very grandiose intro and the rather wonky rhythm in the Rondo. Pierre-Laurent's playing was excellent, as always, and received a standing ovation.

This was followed by Heiner Goebbels' "Songs of Wars I Have Seen", played by a double orchestra: the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. This 26-movement opus blends three different elements: readings from Gertrude Stein, some period instrument playing from the Elizabethan and Baroque periods, plus some more modern music, with jazz and Asiatic influences. Hard to describe and has to be experienced, but really a very accessible and exciting work.

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