Sunday, April 29, 2012

NIH plays Peck and Bartok

The NIH Philharmonia performed two Concerti for Orchestra by modern composers last night. There was lots to intrigue me: one of my doctors was performing in the orchestra, the distribution of the age of performers (mostly 50+, next largest group was <30), the way my friend and I started itching like mad around the same time, wondering whether performers worry about the effect of peckzicatto on their instruments and the entertaining Nancia D'Alimonte's introductions to the pieces. She was riveting -- she would be a great host for a TV series about classical music. I was curious to what extent she scripted her introductions, because they were very well crafted, and when she lost her place, she seemed to pick up a precise thread, not a fuzzy one. Although they were certainly carefully planned,  the wooden quality nearly always found in scripted speech was absent, making me think they might not be completely scripted.

The first piece was Mozart Escapes the Museum (Peck), and the final piece was Bartok's unnamed Concerto for Orchestra. I enjoyed it and Signs of Life II much less than the first Peck piece, but that may have been due to the itchiness rather than the music. I'd hate to think I'm unable to appreciate the work of someone with the hair in this picture. 

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