May 14, 2009

Tafelmusik - The Concert

So - the concert.

We had good seats in the centre balcony. I thought Husband-pup had merely won the tickets in a raffle – he had sprung the idea of the concert on me the night before and that’s what I believed. When I got to Trinity-St. Paul’s I realized that we were VIP and that through business connections we were in the Sponsor’s Circle, so to speak. We were welcomed by a PR liaison and invited to spend the intermission in a special lounge, high above, with wine and hors d’oevres. Two free Tafelmusik CDs were presented to me. I wish that I had worn other than my wide-leg L.L. Bean pants. I had the sense to wear a nice velvet coat and do my hair up.

Coincidentally, Jeanne Lamon - Conductor, Concertmaster and Music Director of Tafelmusik arrived and sat next to me on the pew during the concert. Having a night off, I guess. She has an infectious smile and seemed very pleased with the performance below.

The small Tafelmusik ensemble, there were no more than 13 on the stage at any time, performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Numbers 1, 4, 5 and 3 in that order. I was worried that I wouldn’t recognize the Bach because Mozart’s my man but I knew this Bach as if it were the back of my hand.

For the most part the music was happy and likeable. I’m no judge of classical music but I felt that things kind of fell apart during the second movement of Concerto No. 1. It felt like the First Violin, Christopher Verrette, was having a hell of a time keeping them together and there were a couple of squeakers from the oboe and the violins. I was fully expecting Ms. Lamon to leave her perch next to me in the balcony and take over from that point, but when the horns came in, everything seemed to tie in again.

The harpsichordist Alexander Weimann was great! What would Bach be without the harpsichord?! He strongly reminded me of character actor Bob Balaban and he was just rocking. I felt like flicking a BIC lighter and paying tribute.

The musicians had a hard time keeping still. In Concerto Number 3, the strings took turns showing off their chops. In the Q & A session afterwards, violinist Julia Wedman let us know they recorded it that way too for some stereophonic fun.

All in all, a light, enjoyable evening.

All though not Bach, here’s a happy clip of Tafelmusik via Youtube. Enjoy it. You deserve it.

Please check out other Tafelmusik clips while you’re at it.


Poetikat said...

Oh, now we must follow another path, CP - The Bob Balaban path of mockumentary fame. Say, are you also a fan of Guffman and Best in Show?

Sounds like a fab night. Don't you hate it when you're not dressed exactly as you could have wished?

Also a Mozart lover here! I'm partial to the horn concertoes, the Requiem and the oboe concerto K.633(?) (The one in Out of Africa), BUT any Amadeus will do in a pinch, I always say.


willow said...

Thanks for including the video clip, Hazel! They look like such a nice group...happy and really enjoying what they do. Fun.

The Clever Pup said...

Hey Kat,

Nope - not this time. I haven't seen a Christopher Guest mockumentary since This is Spinal Tap.

I too am partial to Mozart's requiem, Concerto for Flute and Harp, 2nd movement (will use this one at my wedding if I ever get married)Symphonies 25 and 40, Ringtone anyone?

Poetikat said...

Oh, you disappoint me! If you do decide to watch one - make it "Waiting For Guffman". It is genius!
I was surprised to learn that Guest is married to Jamie Lee Curtis.
This is Spinal Tap is my least favourite of any of the mocks.

If I hear a piece, I recognize and probably can sing along, note for note, but I don't know them by their names (or numbers). I know I have 25 and 40 on cd. Is one the "Jupiter"?


Anna said...

Thank you for "bringing" us along to your concert. And do see Best in Show. Very funny! Loved it. We have a local annual cat show in the next month that I'm dying to go to just to people-watch!

The Clever Pup said...

Kat..I think Jupiter is the 41st. It's nice too.
But I must profess my ignorance too with the naming and numbering. I just know which ones I liked from the movie.

Brian Miller said...

sounds like you had a great time, extra special treatment and all. lol, would have been fun to flick the bic, in that crowd.

giulia said...

Lovely, Hazel.

I can't watch the clips, of course, but will keep eye out for any performances in DC-area.

Bob Balaban...oh Guttman is hilarious. He was also wonderfully jerky guy in Gotsford Park. (not same genre but that popped into my mind)

As for feeling not suitably dressed: it happens to the best of us. But you see, you did the right thing. I always advised people who were new to the scene (as it were) here that it's always much more important to concentrate on waist up...

I have to do that now due to lack of options in pants/skirts. But as long as your hair is done, you have a nice top on or a necklace/earrings, some lipstick or such, & a smile, or if more suitable, a somber but knowing look, ta da. I can't believe what I get away with down here (& I do get away with it. The same three things...not that I like it, mind you.)

xo svs/gg

Ladybug said...

I would have loved it. Thanks for the clip and that's what I felt, that they're all enjoying themselves. Looks like a fun group.

I love classical music, grew up with it and play piano but sadly, I have NEVER been to a concert and Melbourne has one of the best Symphony Orchestras in the world. Now living in the sticks, I don't think I ever will...

Thanks again. LBx

Liza said...

Your husband is a sweetheart. What a wonderful night and the special treatment must have been grand. Love the music clip. It was beautiful.

You're absolutely right, Bach just isn't back without a harpsichord.

Mad Aunt Bernard said...

What a wonderful treat, they look so much fun! I am a huge lover of classical music and this has whetted my appetite to get out and see some more often...thanks for the clip!

Anonymous said...

I love that venue! Last time I saw a Tafelmusik concert there the soprano was pregnant (about 10 months, I think) and I thought how lovely it would be to be the baby inside her, all that vibration and and happiness.

K. said...

Were you tempted to pull a Hannibal Lecter on the oboist?

The Clever Pup said...

K. - I have to admit that I can't remember the reference. Care to fill me in?

I harbour no ill will for the man. ;)

K. said...

It's from the beginning of Hannibal, the mediocre followup to Silence of the Lambs. Lecter was at a symphony performance where one of the reeds (I think) was slightly off. The reed wound up as dinner.