Sunday, November 14, 2010

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra - Live 2010.11.12 Powell Hall, St. Louis, Missouri (notes)

I was invited last night to the fifth Blogger's Night of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. After discussing the night with the blogging crew, I shall post two versions of my review. This first one is simply a transcription of my notes that I took during the performance. I'll let the reader try to make sense of it. The second review, which will be posted tomorrow, will feature my traditional style of writing and analysis.

Remember, I came all the way back from Germany for this! Here goes:

7:00 Pre-Concert Perspectives
Prokofiev too fast, like Formula 1
No Communism!
Genetically modified music
singing at cows, staring en masse

8:06 Prokofiev
Big open strings, dramatic
triumphant, sweet
sehr upbeat, grand, dramatic
so many strings, not much else, only perc timpani
drives to one big moment, one big swing, allegro over
Larghetto: soft, serene, slower
David floats, picked pretty bit, woods/brass chill
oh! big! no, released again
soft bed descending bits, fairytale
waltzing through the forest
softens, descends, peaceful a dance in the woods, spring
Gavotte: bigger, grander, sharper,
cellos tapping strings loud page turn
oh! fast! sudden! sharp! whirling about!
flutes really going! fast! through the trees!
woah violins, all over fast [arrow to previous line] dancing on air
row of women changed page for men (cellos)
woodwinds/brass really rockin it!
went right into finish, surprised ending,
lulled into the vigor + sweetness
timpani like a cat

Adès: 8:24 new timpanist + perc now
Leila in a pretty grey dress
David: aware of 300+ year violin tradition
she moves as possessed, just like before
8:32 very spooky, dark, violin squeaky
ominous, descending into darkness, falling
vio all over, wild, heavy
8:33 wavering lead vio
synth-like notes – woods?
vio all over all over, shit dark already
[scribble] those wavering high notes
like a theremin, sci fi
on some fucked up planet
super high v notes, minimal accompaniment
dreamy, spacey, feathery
she is beyond good and evil
strings jerk alien! enemy! scared!
gasp! Percu! shit! hit hard, stop
Paths: jab jab pluck jab stretch pluck
aggressive plucking Bam Again
structure growing heavy shit strange jungle
dark but logical don't take it for granted
she flies convulses the the only one standing but the timpanist
deep comp, crazed v moment of movement [?]
No vs at all, descending creepy something's coming
there it is oh shit, strange, jabs out
ugh thick deep rhythm
oh sweet now, softer, v + flutes alien is away peace on earth
i want that dress smooth serene a bit heavier more dramatic
darker but not evil
beyond good + evil
fucked up v notes
no logic there wont stop
everything else cools
v finally slows finally
Rounds: she awaits the challenge
starts low + creepy Digeridoo [sic] sound! wtf
drums hell yeah strings, woods going, eerie
learning new things, this aint too bad can handle this
v there it is, normal though – sorta cool [?]
she's freakin out generic dark, cool but not as cool
whirling exploration low taps 5/4 oh jab that v
ouch! big final sudden swipe! not totally unexpected
but still big 8:51 lots of clapping

9:19 Rimsky-Korsakov
Big, heavy, ominous, puncuated (Police sirens)
soft, tragic, pointed – harp! Much fuller orch
first v solo more classical, trad
Grand majestic, timpani soft + sweet lilting in the air
decisive scheduled precise strictly non-loose
oh – bigger grander, wilder, is this a dance?
brass make it big pointed directed formulated
pretty but predictable
Another part? slower even more premeditated
still lilting swaying as if to dance
bigger grander really big notes really really big
huge brass notes slower, methodical
nice pointed conclusion bring led from point A to B
harpy + v solo bassoon (oboe?) solo
slow but subtle beauty plucks
sounds classical, medieval, court [undecipherable]
[arrow to two lines prior] oh crap – harsh injection feudal call
riders on the storm comin from afar heralds
shake those vs somethings coming fast
alles shaking trembling okay calmer tense though nervous
tap tap tap nice perc bis triangle yeah
knights coming oh lots of them here they march
tromp stomp tra la la triangle jump!
relative peace soft plucking
fairly triumphant charging in control
coordinated chaos wild strings
jab jab, punch crescendos nice
oh sweet plucks held high oh that harp
subtle but a bit tense rising tension bigger + bigger
big!!! big note [arrow to "tense" in previous line] | pause
melodic strings soft + simple + serene unghh
pretty though floating impatience in the crowd
wheres the action – or am I just noticing
snare!? so subtle + grey
dancey back + forth .............
first v + harp nochmals
crash big follows basic melody storybook
very small + subtle pause
that first v + harp again oh god so much more
dramatic bang big fest big event movement
courtly? grand presentation tambo
let the [undecipherable] big thrusts chase jumping
o, now serene und schön noch wieder
pluck – pluck 1-2 / 1 2 1 2 3 –– !
those threes chasin drama big david is all over it
perc shit big long grand a bit dark
cacophonous but united in a grand front
descend [scribble] [scribble] up and down
dark back sweet top lulled into peace
[arrows sweeping upwards] [scribbles] just over [undecipherable]
squeak whistly [scribble] forlorn
rising to a harmonious top note . . . .
10:03 individuals standing up thx david
hoots and hollers ha ha

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