Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In the presence of greatness

Last night I went to hear Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica play in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. Very occasionally across my life I've had the sense that I'm experiencing a truly great performance. Not just a very good performance, or an enjoyable performance, but one that reaches a level of absolute excellence. Last night was like that.

I don't think I've ever heard music with such delicacy and clarity. It's nice when you find yourself echoing people who are much more knowledgeable. The Musica Viva program notes for the concert include this:
When Gidon Kremer won Moscow’s highly coveted International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970, conductor Herbert von Karajan dubbed him ‘the greatest violinist in the world’. Audiences around the world still concur with this illustrious assessment for Kremer’s sustained excellence across an unprecedented range of styles and forms.

The program was very eclectic, ranging from Beethoven and Mendelssohn (a concerto composed when he was 13!), through to contemporary composers such as local Carl Vine, US jazz great Chick Corea, and one of my favourites, Argentinian Astor Piazzolla.

If you're in Sydney and looking for something wonderful to do tonight (17 February), there's another performance in the Opera House - this time with mainly Baltic composers, Carl Vine and Mozart.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

I'm so jealous! I love Gidon Kremer! Alas, I was out of town.