Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Week 34

man of steel

HAYDN Symphony No. 101 (The Clock)
Bernard Haitink, conductor


10-12:30 rehearsal

10-12:30 1:30-3:30 rehearsals

10-12:30 rehearsal
8 concert

8 concert

8 concert

3 concert

At the Tuesday rehearsal Haitink made a few gracious remarks about the Muti appointment that were brief, understated and to the point – typical Haitink. Kudos to him as well for keeping the brain numbing aspects of the Shostakovich 4 as in check as can be hoped for. Nevertheless, we have to play the piece six times over the next two weeks, which is damaging enough.

Unlike the Mahler 1, which we played twice in less than a year, the Shostakovich 4 was last performed in January of ’06. I suppose that is long ago enough, but it still seems odd to repeat the same symphony so soon when there are more than a dozen others.

The run of concerts in ’06 included what has to be the most talked about Beyond the Score presentation to date. A pro Stalin (!) heckler who could not bear to hear the name of the “Great Architect of Communism” denigrated for another moment began shouting his objections to the proceedings before being escorted out by security. I keep wondering if that guy is going to be back this week.

Supposedly we played Haydn 101 in ’02 (with Slatkin). If so, he must have brought his own parts because ours still had marking from Solti in them. At any rate, I wish we would play Haydn symphonies more often whoever is conducting.


Intermission of the Friday performance included a diversion when police officers were spotted in the balcony clambering over seats, wreslting with and evertually handcuffing an unruly audience member before leading him away. For a moment I thought the Stalinist was back, but this was a different person with a different set of problems.

1 comment:

Geo. said...

Interestingly, another visitor to your burg, Mark Elder (about whom you've expressed your opinion prior), agrees with you about programming more Haydn. He gave a talk a while back in my burg, and said that he loves Haydn and wishes that he could program more of it with his own orchestra, especially with 2009 approaching. But in his home orchestra's program for that season, he said that he's been restricted by the sad fact that Haydn is "death at the box office". Likewise, here, there's very little Mendelssohn and Haydn for their 2009 anniversaries, and the one concert that has both is in calendar year 2008.

But point taken: there's lots of relatively unexplored music to explore instead of programming the same pieces every season, or every other season. Unfortunately, overall, classical audiences tend to know what they like, and like what they know.