An orchestra worth seeing

10Apr11

I was thrilled on Friday when I scored the last two tickets to Christian Zacharias’ performance with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

It may seem like an oxymoron, but there’s something magical about seeing an orchestra perform: The violinists sawing through a tough arpeggio, an oboist’s eyebrows rising as if to sustain a fragile note, the conductor’s frenzy as he demands more from his players …

None of this comes through on a CD.

I was reminded of that today during a lovely passage from Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat, K. 452. I watched the musicians hand over the melody from the oboe to the French horn to the bassoon. They reminded me of old friends, finishing each other’s sentences as they retold a favorite story.

Mozart quintet in e-flat k 452

I wish I had time to meditate further, but I’ll have to leave it at this: Sublime.



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