Regardless of how revolutionary or conformist the Hollywood Bowl season, regardless of how hot & heavy (because it was Thurs., with seats moist from an sudden thunderstorm) or chilly the evening, there can be Beethoven. & so there was Thurs..
Beethoven in this case was a hoped-for audiences magnet on what could be the hardest of all L.A. Philharmonic concerts of the summer time to sell â€” an night when many are already gearing as much as get out of town for Labor Day weekend, still before the tourists have arrived (theyâ€™ll have a cheerful weekend of John Williams).
It was made all of the more constant by the rare threat of rain in a place where concerts aren’t canceled & umbrellas not allowed (however plastic ponchos are provided). The- Beethoven pull half-worked. There have been no lines at the box workplace & safety was a breeze, still the amphitheater was far from empty.
This system, the last this summer time for conductor Bramwell Tovey, the previous L.A. Phil music director at the Bowl, was composed of two here-I-am large Beethoven items. Two days after his 25th birthday, the composer had introduced himself to the Viennese public with his Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1795, turning in to an prompt sensation. A decade after he shook the musical capital up with the â€œEroica,â€� his 3rd symphony, & yet one more startling than any before it.
The wild card Thurs. was the Bowl debut of French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who’s best frequently known as a champion of up to date music. He was a daily soloist with the L.A. Phil throughout Esa-Pekka Salonenâ€™s tenure as music director.
Earlier this summer time, he might be found taking part in Messiaen at Tanglewood, Ravinia & Salzburg. It so took place in that just before he took the stage Thurs., Gramophone magazine formally announced its classical music awards, with Aimardâ€™s performance of French composer Tristan Murailâ€™s 2012 piano concerto â€œLe DÃ¨senchantement du Mondeâ€� part of the disc in that won within the modern music class.
Beethoven piano concertos are usually not solely out of character for Aimard, who recorded them various years of time of time ago with the early music specialist Nikolaus Harnoncourt. However in contrast to the quixotically detailed Harnoncourt approach, Tovey goes in for a more generalized large band Beethoven sound (& a more realistic one given the little rehearsal time Bowl concerts get).
As Tovey set an epic tone, I discovered it complex not to think about the comment by the famed early 20th century British musicologist Donald Francis Tovey (no relation in that the conductor, additionally British, has-been capable of establish) concerning the concerto together with Beethovenâ€™s â€œmost British grenadiers style.â€� However regardless of how thick the orchestra textures, the conductor made adequate space for Aimardâ€™s illuminating French clarity & precision.
The end result was a sort of refined trendy sparkle from the soloist slicing via a forceful orchestra with the talent of a master sushi chef intent on cultivating the delicate flavor of freshness. Within the slow movement, Aimard provided the twinkle of stars missing from a muggy night. He made Beethovenâ€™s daring cadenza sound as up-to-date as Boulezâ€™s.
The grenadiers have been back for the â€œEroica.â€� Tovey introduced the symphony by recounting the well-known tale of Beethoven furiously scratching out the dedication to Napoleon, the democratic composer angered over the French ruler declaring himself emperor. Thatâ€™s what can occur, Tovey noted, if you elect somebody who turns out to have a surfeit of hubris.
Tovey then produced an â€œEroicaâ€� in that was heroic with an edge. Like with Aimard & the concerto, he didnâ€™t so much add on character as make room for individuality. He let Beethoven powerfully speak for himself, while additionally giving the music a robust kick within the pants.
Somewhat than attempt to seek out anything new within the â€œEroicaâ€� â€” again not such a hot concept with the Bowlâ€™s rehearsal schedule â€” Tovey made a press release with the sheer propulsion of huge musical masses. When Beethoven speaks, a holiday can wait.