petzipellepingo (petzipellepingo) wrote in westsidestory,

Musical Monday

Energy and Reflection

The Boston Symphony was first out of the blocks in this season’s race to celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centenary, devoting its gala opening last Friday to the composer’s music. With Julia Bullock and Frederica von Stade on hand, there was good stuff on offer, best of all the orchestra’s divine flutist, Elizabeth Rowe, in “Halil,” a lament for a fallen Israeli soldier. The conductor Andris Nelsons, though, wholly misconceived the Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story”: rhythms were limp and textures too lurid. In its flat efficiency, it reminded me just how exhilaratingly great was the Bernstein I heard from Gustavo Dudamel and his Simón Bolívar youth orchestra from Venezuela at the BBC Proms in 2007. Never since have I been in a hall that crackled with such energy, nor left one on such a high. I used to look in hope at the red, yellow and blue jacket that I took home after a percussionist, probably little older than I was, threw it to me in the crowd. A decade later, we cannot be so naïve about this Venezuelan project, even if a few of its hundreds of thousands of musicians have inspired with their protests against the Maduro regime. But just listen to the innocent tenderness with which these players unfurl Lenny’s elegy for a young dream lost. How sad a meaning it has taken on now. DAVID ALLEN®ion=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=1&version=internal&
Tags: gustavo dudamel, leonard bernstein, videos

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