It’s another episode of At The Symphony with Dave and Charlie! Last night we went to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for Bruckner’s 8th Symphony and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with the overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as the opener. It was very enjoyable, although if the DSO presents much more Bruckner—the 8th was advertised as 73 minutes, but might’ve been longer—it’ll have to install more comfortable seats. 🙂
The overture was a good preface to the concert. This is a warhorse piece that you’re likely to recognize even if you don’t know the name. I think we got a more cohesive rendition than the Free Press’s reviewer got in the Friday morning performance. Dave just related the observation that the sound got somewhat swallowed by the size of Orchestra Hall. The overture was played by an ensemble the size of which would’ve been common in Mozart’s day. More performers, though historically incorrect, would’ve pushed the music out into the hall more fully.
The soloist for the piano concerto was Ingrid Fliter, and she brought quite a bit of life to the piece, clearly having fun especially in the final movement. There was a very pretty, sweet feel to the quietest moments of the slow movement that I found quite fetching.
The Bruckner 8th was sharply played and its climaxes were stirring. I say “climaxes” because it comes to a head many times and then goes on. At one point I asked Dave whether the third movement had started, and it hadn’t yet; I was just fooled by one of the seemingly final cadences. That’s more my fault, though—I didn’t get a chance to listen to the whole symphony on CD before going to the concert. I find that helps a lot with understanding the music. Anyway, it was very stirring, especially in the last movement, and the people who left partway through it (it’s not a baseball game, folks!) missed out on the reward for sticking it out.
If you’re interested, here’s the Free Press review of the concert (as performed on Friday).