Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Bass Blog Back!
Well, I finally heard from all five of my readers. There may be 68,000 odd hits on this page, but to be honest, about 57,995 of those were me obsessively checking to see if the page still existed and if anyone else had viewed it. Thanks to those who inquired about my health, which is no better, but certainly no worse than usual – I simply needed a break.
The performances last week of the Bruckner 5th Symphony have a great deal to do with my decision t start blogging again at this time. Letting a Bruckner 5 pass without comment would be like sitting at the breakfast table one sunny morning and watching the Hindenburg silently drift by without at least nudging one’s companion to look up from the newspaper. Fortunately, under the baton of replacement conductor Jaap van Zweden (filling in for the permanently absent Riccardo Chailly) Bruckner’s bloated masterpiece fared better than the similarly tumid German airship.
The Dutch violinist turned conductor spent more rehearsal time than normal dealing with the strings; in a work such as the Bruckner an endeavor akin to lifting up a stone at the beach, watching the various small crabs and other multi-legged creatures scuttle off in all directions, and then trying to coax them into marching single file across the sand. In spite of the ultimate futility of the effort, it was entertaining to watch. Needless to say, the stone was replaced at the performances with increasing force each night. Still, these were some of the better accounts of the piece I can recall. Too bad the audiences were consistently and depressingly small.