11.29.2022 – of virtuosic

of virtuosic
reticence, a silk of sound
inward and wistful

Music critics get to use the best words.

In a recent review of the New York Philharmonic titled, At the Philharmonic: a Taste of Holiday Bounty: Stéphane Denève leads a program of extravagantly colorful French works, with the pianist Víkingur Ólafsson as the soloist in a Ravel concerto, Zachary Wolfe GOT TO WRITE:

It’s not that his touch is diffuse; it’s as clean as marble. And it’s not that the tempos he and Denève chose for the framing movements were slower than normal. But the effect Ólafsson got throughout, of a kind of virtuosic reticence, could be described in the same words I used for his performance in February: a “silk of sound, inward-looking and wistful in both major and minor keys, in both andante and allegro.

1st to have a job where you are paid to go to concerts in New York City.

Then to have job where you are paid to go to concerts in New York City and then be allowed, no, expected, to write about these concerts using some of the best words and the best USE of words that you can imagine.

Thanksgiving came a day early at the New York Philharmonic this year: the calories, the juicy fat, the whipped cream, the fun, the sense of endless bounty

Some pianists lean on the factory-machine regularity, the bright lucidity, of those parts

… opened the concert with an extravagance that offers proof of the survival of the orchestrational panache of the French tradition: its lurid lushness and sly squiggles, brassy explosions and sensual strings

The Philharmonic played well throughout, riding the many waves and swerves of intensity and pigment, from dewy dawns to mellow dusks


But I have this blog and I can write about the words.

And I can applaud the use of the words and thoughts.

And I can fell a little smug.

Mr. Wolfe notes that the soloist, Víkingur Ólafsson, played a tender Rameau encore.

I bet I know what he played.

I bet I know because in a post back in April, I recommended that you listen to playing Rameau.

I made another bet in that post.

I bet that if you listened to the piece through the link I had on the page, I bet that  you would instantly become happier.

I hold with that statement today.

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