Friday, November 14, 2008

Brahms & Beethoven

I'm still correlating and working through my notes on the masterclasses, but I wanted to post about the concert I just got home from. Cleveland, OH is only about 2 1/2 hours from where I am, and they offer student ticket prices $10-$15. I really don't mind driving there and back to see a concert. I mean, its Cleveland! I've done it more times than I care to count. I know that I will not be this close to them forever and so I cherish the times I have to see them perform. I've seen some amazing performances, from Midori to Lang Lang and heard Mahler's Song of the Earth and Brahms Symphonies. There is something incredible about hearing an orchestra live that cannot be captured in a recording. The music not only surrounds you, but flows through you.

Tonight I saw the concertmaster and principal cellist perform the Brahms Double Concerto, which was beyond fantastic. The second half of the performance was Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, Eroica. If there are two composers I completely love, it would be them. The group that went ended up being all musicians - three oboists, one bassoonist, two french horn players and a percussionist. So we made an interesting group. I wish I knew the Brahms Double better than I did, but I still enjoyed it. William Preucil, the violinist, is one of my favorite concertmasters to watch. He moves so naturally with the music, leading the section but never in a way that detracts from the music. I've so enjoyed listening and watching him perform over the past few years. It was a treat to see him in such a role. Desmond Hoebig, the cellist, has this gorgeous, dark, lush sound which fills the entire hall, even when he's playing piano. It was excellent to see them perform together.

I did enjoy the Beethoven Eroica as well. At the intermission, there was much discussion over our various favorite Beethoven symphonies. Mine happens to be the Fifth. Earlier this semester, I heard Cleveland perform it. It may seem typical and over picked, but I have my reasons. There is something about a minor symphony, almost indescribable. There is an angst, a disparity, especially in the Fifth that reaches into the darkest parts of my heart and pulls on those strings. Also, being in minor, when it does finally reach a major section, there is such a sense of relief, a release of tension.

It was an enjoyable evening, and hopefully there will be many more in the future. I think it is extremely important to go to concerts, to hear people perform. It helps you define what you like and don't like. It can open you to new music you have not heard before, stretching your musical knowledge. I also know someday I will no longer be a student and have to pay full-price for tickets. I will still attend as much as possible, my wallet just may not be as helpful!


Patty said...

Hi there! I just landed at your oboe blog, and wondered if you'd like to be added to my reed blogroll. You can see my site here:

Happy Oboing to you!


Jennifer Schlosser said...

Hi Kate,

Thanks so much for making the trip to Cleveland to hear the Orchestra perform, and for writing the nice post about your experience!

We’re always looking for ways to continue to promote the Student Advantage Program to enthusiastic Classical music-loving students like you, and I wanted to ask your permission to use a quote from your post for future use in our promotional emails and/or brochures? Please email me at if you are interested.

As you know, in addition to tickets for $10 to $15, the Student Advantage Program also offers other opportunities which you we hope you can take advantage of, including additional discounts, guest/parent discounts, open rehearsals, and master classes.

I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the performance and hope you are able to return to hear the Cleveland Orchestra often!

Jennifer Schlosser
Media Relations Manager
The Cleveland Orchestra

Kate said...

Patty - I'd be honored to be added to your blogroll!