11.16.2006

So They Say:

"They say" that when the Brahms violin concerto is played correctly, the strings of the violin under the bow become hot enough to burn you if you touch them.

We had a chance to see that (although NOT to test the theory) last weekend with the Utah Symphony. The violinist was Sarah Chang.

She played very well, and we did sit on the fourth or fifth row. It was an excellent concert. We were close enough to hear her breathing with the music, and to be able to see her facial expressions as she played. Her violin growled and sang as the score pitched and reeled from simple melodies to the titanic rumblings of fury and sadness inside the score.

The piece is stirring and shows the divine ability of Brahms to bring out and complement the counterpoint of full orchestra versus solo violin. It was all-round very good.

That piece also contains one of the longest oboe solos in classical music, and it was played beautifully.

When you sit in the middle, and fairly close, the stereophonic experience that is presented at your ears is truly a wonder, and it was nothing less than terrific. Incidentally, a few years ago, a company called AKG developed a recording/microphone system called the AKG Harry, where two very sensitive microphones were placed at the appropriate spots on a fake head, similar in density to an actual human head, in an effort to capture a more true representation of that experience in a recorded format. It has become a common and accepted practice today in orchestral recordings, and presents a very real recording to disc.

Interesting stuff.

1 comment:

for what it's worth said...

We have fallen in love with a young American choral composer as of late. His overtones and harmonies are brilliant and innovative. The pieces are original and emotional and they are quite the masterpieces when sung by 50+ singers. His pieces are frequently performed by choirs all over the US and Canada. Daughter is going to be in South Africa when Eric is there for a conference...she intends to go and experience a workshop with him. Way cool!


www.ericwhitacre.com