vivaldi at the walt disney concert hall

Look at me, posting for the second day in a row!  I must have serious work that I’m avoiding.  Anyway, on to substantive matters.

Did you know that, if you are a student, like me, you can get $10 rush tickets to any show at Walt Disney concert hall, provided you show up an hour or two before the performance?  Well, you can!  And I did.  This is very exciting.  Last summer I developed a taste for excellently produced classical music in spectacular venues for not very much money.  So this is sure to change my life.  L and I went down and got some tickets, hit up the pirate bar for drinks and some mac and cheese, and got back in time for what was a quite lovely series of concertos by Vivaldi.

The works were performed by a group called “europa galante” that apparently specializes in baroque Italian music, in some cases ‘rediscovering and restoring’ lost 18th century operas.  They were joined by the charmingly narcissistic mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, who dramatically laughed after every performance as if she were surprised people were clapping (there was all together too much clapping and bowing and fake encores in this performance, but that’s beside the point).

I was not too familiar with the works of Vivaldi.  Ok, let’s be honest – I don’t know that much about classical music in general.  If not being able to play the piano is the greatest failing of my life, this is obviously 1a.  Also, I have trouble relating to anything pre-romantic in general.  So his music appeared to me as would something by Donne; I could appreciate the crafted beauty, even if I was emotionally unmoved.  The melodrama of his lyrics, in particular, did not match well with the jaunty uprightness of the music.  Also, the translations of these lyrics (given to us in the program) were poor.  Not that I am so great at translating 18th century Italian, but I know when someone else is messing up a text.  My incessant criticisms aside, I quite enjoyed the performance as a whole.

For $10, this was totally awesome.  The concert hall is beautiful and the sound carries well; even though we were in the back, and there were only a dozen musicians on stage, and they were (I think) un-miked, we could hear fairly well.  This will hopefully and probably become something I do very frequently.

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One Response to vivaldi at the walt disney concert hall

  1. Pingback: Schubert at wd « ducks & turtles

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