In today’s Orange County Register online, I review cellist Alisa Weilerstein and conductor Alexander Shelley in performances of music by Handel, Debussy and Dvorak with the Pacific Symphony.
Click here to read my review or pick up a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper.
The concert is repeated today and tomorrow.
Re: the choice of cello concerto . . . I understand box office fear at programming the Carter, but I would’ve thought the Elgar would be enough of a crowd pleaser to program in the OC (or anywhere, for that matter).
And i completely agree with CKDH about that. It seems to me that the Dvorak may be, if anything, somewhat less audience-friendly than the Elgar. The latter masterpiece is already almost a hundred years old, it is 100% unabashedly Romantic, and it is of perfect length for a cello concerto unlike the terribly long former whose third movement is like some annoying guests – keeps saying goodbye but not leaving. But i guess Tim knows OC audience better than i do, and if he is right about them being scared of the Elgar, then they don’t know what they are missing.
I don’t say they have reason to be scared of the Elgar, but box office receipts are perceived as being based on names on the program, and Dvorak as a better seller than Sir Edward. (I’m not so sure the latter perception is true, though. These days, I don’t think most people know Dvorak from Adam.) Elgar has been performed very little in O.C., at least since I’ve been here. St.Clair doesn’t perform him, and the touring orchestras don’t bring him along much. I had a call this morning on my voice mail from a reader (he often calls, usually to rant about something) and he took issue with me suggesting that the Elgar concerto might have been performed instead of the Dvorak. He said that Elgar was the worst classical composer ever, or something along those lines.
Bruckner is considered adventurous here, at least by a certain local orchestra. To be fair, it’s based on what they see at the box office — he’s a hard sell, or so they tell me.
Ha!, MarK, I completely agree with you about the last movement of the Dvorak! It has bugged me for a long, long time.
How about “Dvorak from AdamS”? We are presenting the Elgar Cello Concerto on February 12 when cellist Sophie Shao performs it with the BBC Concert Orchestra Please come and enjoy..