Saturday, January 17, 2009

Celebratory cadenzas.

Having spent part of the afternoon watching the Inaguraul Train wend its way from Philadelphia to Washington DC, and watching/listening to those who stood in the bitter cold to catch a look at the president-elect, we thought our day could not get much better. But we took ourselves to Benaroya Hall this evening. With Douglas Boyd as guest conductor, we heard Mozart's "Concerto No. 24 in C Minor," played by Yefim Bronfman, who must surely have one of the most exiquisite touches at the keyboard. Then we were treated to David Gordon playing Haydn's "Concerto for E Flat Trumpet." I have recordings of this concerto by both Gerard Schwartz and Wynton Marsalis, each of whom play in clear bell like tones. But Gordon's performance surpassed exceptional, including his own masterfully imagined cadenza -- a "virtuosic solo passage, either improvised or precomposed in the spontaneous, free-sounding style of an improvisation, inserted near the end of a musical composition or section."

Next to language, music is the most powerful agent for change that I know.

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