May 6, 2018

Concert #828 - Andre Watts at the Segerstrom Concert Hall (May 3, 2018)

Even though I practically never initiate outings to classical music events, I do not kick and scream when my Better Half asks me to accompany her to such events and, quite often, I find these outings surprisingly rewarding. No better case in point than Andre Watts' appearance last Thursday at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, which turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Andre Watts played Beethoven's Concerto No. 5, also known as the "Emperor Concerto", a piece of music I knew quite well. From our seats we could see Andre's finger-work with great clarity and the sound was outstanding as well. The music grabbed me from the very beginning, so at the end, along with everyone else, my Better Half and I gave Andre Watts a well-deserved standing ovation. There was no encore, though.

Waiting for Andre Watts' arrival

During intermission, I expressed some apprehension about the evening's upcoming second part, namely Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10. Featuring a total of fifty-seven minutes of music I was unfamiliar with, this certainly had the potential of ruining an evening that, up to that point, had been going well. As it turned out, the power of the music, the variety of the instruments that all had their moments in the limelight, and especially the multiple full-orchestra crescendos, got me hooked from the start and kept my mind from wandering away.

I was very impressed with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, its conductor, Carl St.Clair, and the venue itself. The sound was loud and clear, even though there was absolutely no man-made amplification. I know we'll be back for more.

Carl St.Clair
The end of the concert
We went to the concert with our good friends Hans and Valerie, two people who are not only connoisseurs, but also supporters of classical music.
My Better Half (left) and Valerie 
The Segerstrom Concert Hall
The Segerstrom Concert Hall

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