September 26, 2011
Rehearsal - Banned Rehearsal 799
Participating were Karen Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, Neal Meyer, and me.
|Fungus, White River Valley, Mt. Rainier National Park, September 24,2011|
September 29, 2011
Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Le Sacre du printemps - Stravinsky
An American In Paris - Gershwin
Ameriques - Varese
We had a fabulous dinner at Juno, in the revamped Arctic Building (1914) on the corner of 3rd and Cherry. From our booth the only buildings visible either existed at the time of the programmed works or were built contemporaneously to their composition, emphasizing how much of what we tend to think of as the old Seattle is quite literally a city born of modernism.
It is a small thing, or it should be a small thing, but I applaud Morlot for programming these three works in this less than obvious sequence. A more usual approach would have been to reverse the halves - starting and ending with the ultra-popular and hiding the crowd-chaser in the middle where fewer would be able to escape it. Instead we were presented with an ordering that entwined them into each other. Gershwin holds his modernist own remarkably well in this company of giants, matching car-horns to air raid siren, dance to dance; and never does Stravinsky sound so tunefully populist and rhythmically straightforward as when we hear his primitivism foiled by Varese's war-poet sensibility. Here is what that music is like with the folk tunes shelled out of it and no dancing to get in the way of rhythmic imagination.