The only thought that crossed my mind was that, perhaps, the pieces are ancestors of Boulez’s Notations (the orchestral versions, not the piano ones). At any rate, something about the forms, and how the pieces relate to each other, reminded me a bit of the Boulez.
I found the ordering of the concert a bit odd. If the idea was that the Schönberg (Verklärte Nacht) and the Bartók should be main dishes, with the Pulcinella Suite as “sorbet”, I could see the logic, but it didn’t work for me. I think I would have started with the Bartók, then had the Stravinsky. Then put the big Schönberg piece in the second half.
A few other odd things. I saw no one from the new music scene. That made me think that this kind of concert is now classed along with Beethoven and Brahms. Heh-heh.
Another odd thing was that the vulgar bass and trombone duet in Pulcinella was no longer vulgar. The trombonist kind of ironed out the glissandi and the bassist played his part beautifully – there was no clumsiness (as there would have been in Stravinsky’s time, I guess). Stravinsky said that the real joke was not the trombone sliding but the fact that the “comic duo” was so ill-matched (a rasping voice answered by a hoarse one). Anyway, none of this came across. I guess Boulez “doesn’t do vulgar”.
As I said yesterday, the orchestra was terrific. But the acoustic in the Muziekgebouw was kinder to the wind than to the strings. Nevertheless, the Schönberg sounded marvelous, just marvelous.
I and my companion left to get some beers elsewhere. I hadn’t drunk anything beforehand – a rule of mine at these events. The Belgian beer was worth the wait though. I walked home more than a little off-key, it has to be said.
Talking of excessive consumption (and conspicuous, also), the cafe/bar just before the performance was absolutely groaning with concert goers (?) tucking in. Great heaps of rather pointless salad (how much does a lettuce cost anyway?). A bit of a revolting spectacle, I found……….
Not that going to a concert should be like going to church…………and there were several dishy waiters on hand, as if to reinforce the point.
Well, enough said………………….