You-review-it Monday

May 23, 2011
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For me, the weekend included seeing ISO music director designate Krzysztof Urbanski lead the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and catching the teaming of Dance Kaleidoscope with Cathy Morris. Plus a side trip to Cincy for a wedding at the Cincinnatti Museum Center at Union Terminal.

I also stopped in at the preview event for the Broad Ripple Art Fair and enjoyed Columbus, Indiana's high-profile appearance on "CBS Sunday Morning."

And you? Did you spend the nest egg at BRAF? Catch the last performance of "Chicago" by Actors Theatre of Indiana? Enjoy the weather at the IMA's 100 Acres Art & Nature Park?

Your thoughts?

  • Urbanski at the Symphony
    We saw Krzysztof Urbanski conduct the Symphony on Saturday evening. For the Mendelssohn selections, he didn't use a musical score, conducting the lengthy program without notes. It was a magnificent performance.
  • Cinderella
    My weekend entertainment was watching Cinderella at Beef & Boards. Or rather, more precisely, was watching my 4-year-old niece watch Cinderella for the first time. During the house announcements, my niece received a special "hello" from the town crier. She was so excited to hear her name we had to hold her back from running to the stage. Sitting in the very front table, we were inches from the stage. She must have felt they were signing right to her. That was Saturday and according to my sister-in-law, she hasn't stopped talking about it yet.
  • Strunning
    He is brilliant !!!!
  • Cleveland Orchestra
    I saw the Cleveland Orchestra at the Palladium on Sunday afternoon with Emmanuel Ax as piano soloist and conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Most. This was a fantastic concert by one of the world's finest orchestras. Emmanuel Ax played two extremely diverrent works - he gave undoubtedly the finest performance I have ever heard of the Haydn Piano Concerto in D Major. His cadenzas were interesting and well paced, and his touch at all dynamic levels was clear and well articulated. The orchestral balance with the soloist was perfect, and the difficult high horn parts were exactly on the money. The second piano solo was the Stravinsky Capriccio, which dates from the composer's neo-classical style period in the 1920s. Here the percussive staccato figures were clear and precise, and represented a completely different approach physically and musically, and Ax was stunning in this work as well. Beethoven's Eighth Symphony ended the concert, and it was marvelously played and conceived. Especially thrilling was the big buildup to the ending of the finale. The first work on the concert was John Adams' Guide to Strange Places, which dates from 2001. Although minimalist in compositional style, the piece uses a thick texture of layered complex rhythms and myriad percussive effects. This was the perfect piece to let us see what the Palladium can do, and the hall showed that even the smallest sound will project through the thick textures with ease. So often this kind of piece will come off as a soupy swirl of sound that does not have much internal definition, but the concert hall was absolutely up to the challenge. I have heard about a dozen concerts there, ranging from amplified jazz to delicate chamber music to piano solo to full symphony, and I am convinced that this is one of the finest concert halls anywhere.

    I also was involved in the Saturday concert at the Palladium by the Indiana Wind Symphony. Since I am the conductor of that group, it would not be right for me to do any reviewing of the concert of course. I would love to hear what audience members thought. I will say that our soloist, 12-year old trumpeter Natalie Dungey, is one of the unique talents I have experienced. She plays with the technique and sound of a professional soloist and her musical instincts are developing at a rate far beyond her years. I hope that we can have her play with us again soon.

    I attended the Friday concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and was impressed by the dynamic range and descriptive qualities that Music Director Urbanski brought to the opening Hebrides Overture. The violin soloist was impressive, although his choice of attire made me think of Wyatt Earp at a formal affair. He struck some unique poses and stamped his feet a few times, but the command of the Sibelius Violin Concerto was solid, and he kept the audience attention focused throughout. This was a promising first time to hear Maestro Urbanski and I look forward to attending more concerts with him on the podium.

    I saw the Chicago Symphony at Orchestra Hall on Thursday night, and they were magnificent of course. My favorite performance of the week though, and here I am the proud teacher, was Owen Kraft's delightful work as trumpet soloist in Leroy Anderson's Trumpeter's Lullaby with the Westlane Middle School Band under the leadership of Holly May!
  • Broad Ripple Art Fair
    We had a wonderful weekend at the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Great music, food, and of course, art. Lots of variety in the artists kept it fresh and exciting. I think I met my shopping quota for the year!

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