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MD-VA-DC Strathmore Tchaikovsky 4th Klipschfest, Saturday, April 25, 2009


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EDIT -- Michael, I'm sorry, I didn't see your most recent post before writing this one and the one below. I hope that's OK [end edit]

It's hard to beat the advantages of setting and being close to Strathmore [edited].

Any other thoughts or comments?

I'll traipse the streets of Bethesda to see what I can find. Mamma Lucia's has good prices, but it's brinksmanship to get out of the dang parking garage on time to make the concert, and I didn't think the food was as good last time as it used to be. Maybe we'll have to go back there. I'll post on what I find. Comments, please....


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Jean Michel is fine by me as you know. The food is excellent there!

Mike, thank you for the input. I do NOT want the cost to deter anyone!!

I still spent some time today driving around to look at other restaurants. Bethesda has few places that will take reservations/are quiet enough for us to hear each other talk/are lower priced. The Tastee Diner would be great and inexpensive, but only seats people in random booths as they come in, Ruby Tuesday and Houston's have few customers and quiet interiors but play loud music, and the Silver Diner and others have terrible sound control and you can't hear yourself think.

Here's a place that looks less expensive than Jean-Michel, http://www.menupix.com/dc/menu.php?id=500634, but it's less convenient as to parking and distance from Strathmore.

Any other comments?


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This thread will be un-pinned in a day or two and we'll put it back up after New Year's. Checks have been coming in at a reasonable rate.

For Saturday morning, I could do "music appreciation" on what to listen for in the first or second movement of the Tchaikovsky. Anyone up for that kind of thing, or should we just go with the flow?


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  • 2 weeks later...

The conductor of the National Philharmonic, who we're going to see at the concert, is trying to infuse 7 year-olds with classical music at Strathmore. The concert hall, built under the leadership of the then-Montgomery County (MD) Executive (which has to be pretty unusual), had classical music inspiration of youth as one of its prime objectives.

See Orchestra performs for second-graders.

Until there was a music hall to seat nearly 2,000 people, Piotr Gajewski couldn't have attempted to give a symphonic concert for 10,000 7-year-olds in three days.

But five years ago, before the Music Center at Strathmore had even opened officially for the public, the director of the National Philharmonic gave the venue a series of test runs in the company of every Montgomery County Public School second-grader, fresh ears exposed to classical music in a brand new location.

"I'm a great believer that music is an extremely positive force in terms of education and cognitive development," Gajewski said. "For the first time it was actually possible to undertake a project so broad in scope," and every year since, the National Philharmonic has returned to get a new batch of kids in tune with classical music...

Each of the six concerts, which will take place through Thursday, also features a solo from one of the teenage winners of the National Philharmonic Concerto Competition who is intended to "serve to inspire them that they can do this too," Gajewski said.

Gajewski said it is his hope that as the concerts continue, a second-grader that attends the concert will someday be the ninth- or 10th-grader that performs the solo.

It seems to me that would get some youthful attention!

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  • 1 month later...

Update -- Thank you, I've got payments for all 16 tix! Very prompt, and I appreciate how easy you all make it to put something like this together for everyone. Reservations are made at an excellent, very convenient restaurant for late Saturday afternoon dinner and hassle-free parking both there and at Strathmore. Fast 15-minute drive between them.

Although all 16 seats I reserved are taken (12 forum members/SO's and 4 friends), it shouldn't be a problem to reserve another one or few if anyone else out there is interested. Those attending the concert are:

  • Me
  • Garymd (Gary)
  • Thebes (Marty)
  • Dkalsi (Dhar) and Sophia
  • Klipsched with Yamahas (Mark)
  • Colterphoto1 (Michael)
  • Mike Lindsey
  • Skonopa (Steve)
  • DoubleJJ (Jon)
  • Pyro (Rob) and June
  • Jim & Bridget Joy (friends)
  • Cheryl & Bill Waller (friends)


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Michael, how did you find this old (by now) thread?

The Tchaikovsky symphony No. 4 is an amazing, serious doozy, but the only strong piece on the program. You can get great info by directly googling a work like this, and surprisingly Wikipedia will often have a whole page just devoted to the work you want! This one gets into irrelevant and uninteresting weeds, unfortunately: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._4_(Tchaikovsky)

Although reading through this can be a slog, if you aren't into music history, form, and instruments, I think you might dig into it and come back with some questions. The form of the moverments, especially the first mov't, is an important part of this work. I'd like to go over that with you and anyone else interested, when you get here the Friday before.

Google also brings up Youtube video performances -- BE SURE TO WATCH TILSON THOMAS AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SYM ORCH -- it is FABULOUS:

You'll also see several Youtube videos down the right side as usual, and you might watch several of those -- how other conductors do it is interesting, and Stokowski's last movement would be quite a contrast. There's one on the SFSO's percussion that is extremely interesting, and draws from the first movement. So, sample that one, too.

Unfortunately, the other two pieces are lightweights. Here's a fair "In the Steppes of Central Asia" (ours will be better performed): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXhIdguE60Y&feature=related. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Steppes_of_Central_Asia

Lemme know if this helps anyone.


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Thank you for the links Larry. The Wiki took me nowhere though but I wiki'd PIT and got a lot of life history.

The video is intense and of very high audio quality with good camera work. I do think somthing is amiss because the conductor seems to behind the tempo throughout, maybe a camera sync issue? Someone on the forum mentioned Viennese cymbals so I looked them up. There is a ton of cymbal washes throughout the first part of this movement, and at 5:45 a huge triple crash of three percussionists. That will be intense live.

18" HH Orchestral Viennese Pair. Hand-hammered for true artisan quality.

Sabian HH Viennese Cymbals
Sabian 11820

The Sabian HH Orchestral Viennese
HH Orchestral Viennese are versatile cymbals of medium weight and thickness provide full sound with moderate decay.

They're also called "A combination of musicality and energy for sounds that are bright, bold, and explosive"

I'm always interested in the instrumentation first, probably because of being a sound dude. Looks like a kettle drum on a rack so the head is vertical and it's played like a marching band drum- that is interesting.

Interested in more about what the piece means. It didnt' sound 'Russian' to me at all. In fact after the cymbals died down I thought the middle portion reminiscent of Copeland, kind of a pastoral scenic feel, until the dramatic bits kicked back in again.

Ok, more research to go.

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This is the 1st movement(1st half) Chicago Symphony Orchestra with this Barenboim guy conducting and he's an animal.

Very powerful massed horn intro, the French horns and trumpets are amazing. There are some very experienced players on this track and they are incredible.

Check out at 4:30 into it- the violins are just insane.

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OMFG! Check the same CSO Barenboim on the 2nd half of the first movement!

midway through this track at about 3:00 there is a very tender bassoon section which melts into a even quiter part with oboe leading, then clarinet and flute joining in . Very gentle.

Then we learn a new musical term ( read all the comments accompanying the videos, there are some learned people on there)

Stringendo - Gradually faster. Pressing forward.

The finale of this movement has the string section pushing the envelope of the tempo very so gradually until it's like they're sawing things in two.

What I want to know is 'if we get a performance like this' HOW on Earth are we supposed to keep quiet between movements?!!?

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The video is intense and of very high audio quality with good camera work. I do think somthing is amiss because the conductor seems to behind the tempo throughout, maybe a camera sync issue? Someone on the forum mentioned Viennese cymbals so I looked them up. There is a ton of cymbal washes throughout the first part of this movement, and at 5:45 a huge triple crash of three percussionists. That will be intense live.

I just watched that video myself. That was sweet. It did seem the conductor was behind temp, but again, wonder if that is just a sync issue. Anyway, this will be amazing to see performed live. Who said classical has to be boring? [;)][8]

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