In today’s Orange County Register online, I review last night’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl, with Leon Botstein conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony and Jennifer Koh performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
Click here to read my review (day pass or subscription required) or pick up a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper.
I took the photo above a little more than an hour before the concert, from the topmost seat (not mine) in the house. Tuesday night concerts don’t usually draw big crowds to the venue. Last night’s attendance was listed as 6,812 on the little sign by the house manager’s door on the way out.
Classical music has been pretty much relegated to Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Bowl, with the better attended weekend concerts given over to various pop extravaganzas, movie music and what have you. In some ways, I suppose, this scheduling relegates classical music to a kind of ghetto, and at the same time the classical masterworks aren’t generally performed for the masses on the weekends. But I’m of two minds about it.
Allotting the classical music concerts to Tuesdays and Thursdays allows the orchestra to be a little more adventurous in its programming, or at least that’s the way I see it. This year, Michael Tilson Thomas opened the classical subscription series with Mahler’s Second Symphony. A little later Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos led performances of Stravinsky’s “Fireworks” and “The Rite of Spring,” and Dudamel conducted Verdi’s “Requiem.” Next week, Bramwell Tovey will lead new choreography for a Philip Glass symphony. There have been other forays as well outside of the rehashed usual suspects. The fact is, without the pressure of drawing huge crowds on weeknights, the orchestra can eschew populist programming and as a result can offer Shostakovich’s Tenth on a Tuesday night in the middle of August. Along with its improved amplification and giant HD screens, this makes the Hollywood Bowl seem newly attractive to listeners like me.