Yesterday morning Mom and I went to an amazing concert.
BSO is running a series of casual concerts which basically means morning concerts - no evening attire required. The concert included 3 concertos by Vivaldi, one by Handel and one by a composer, little known to the public today - a Heinrich von Biber.
What a buffet of Baroque music! ...and - my two favorite composers - Vivaldi and Handel!!!
The concert started at 11 a.m. We had wonderful seats in the Orchestra, which allowed us to fully enjoy both the music and the view of the stage.
According to the Baroque Era tradition, the orchestra was conducted by the first violin, not by a concertmaster. The first violin, Madeline Adkins, was wonderful. She looks well under 30, but is obviously a very talented musician and concertmaster. No wonder 2 years ago it was her who was appointed to the position of Associate Concertmaster of the BSO by Maestro Yuri Temirkanov himself.
Another amazing thing about her is that she comes from a family of 8 children, where every child is a professional musician, and the parents are prominent musicologists. How do people have time to teach 8 children music? I know I want to teach my children music, except that I do not think I'll have 8. Two - max!..
I was really fascinated by the first Vivaldi's concerto - Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor. It was a typical Vivaldi in the best sense of the word. The music had that special nerve that all Vivaldi's music has, which keeps rolling at you at an insane pace and which makes Vivaldi stand out of the rest of the world's music crowd. The concerto offered a lot of intensity on the one hand, and exquisite gracefulness on the other.
The four violinists were standing in a semi-circle in front of the orchestra. At one point, one of them started the leading motif, and then the music kind of flew from the tip of his bow to the bow of the next violinist and from him - to the next one. At first glance, it looked like a game, but at the same time, demonstrated incredible professionalism and artfulness of the musicians.
The amazing thing about Vivaldi is that no matter what instrument/-s the concerto is written for, it is always for the violin! In any Vivaldi's concerto you get a feeling that all the violins in the world are playing in unison. You do not hear it anywhere else - only Vivaldi!
It was also very interesting to watch how the instruments were living the lives of their own, how the bows were performing their own rhythmical dance. It was fascinating!
Handel's Concerto Grosso in B-flat Minor was very beautiful.
To me, Handel is very different from any other Baroque composer. His music is intelligent, sophisticated, extremely sensual and always a just little sad, even when it is not supposed to be. His music reminds me of the paintings of Antoine Watteau, because they both express the contradictory nature of a human being, and the great sadness of human happiness.
This concert was a wonderful uplifting experience for both of us. Can you ever go wrong with Vivaldi and Handel?