Friday, April 03, 2009

Diary: Medea and the Russians

March 27, Friday: I watched the Columbia-Barnard Classical Drama Group's performance of Euripides' Medea in the Minor Latham Playhouse, at Barnard. The actors spoke in Ancient Greek, which was glossed with English super-titles. Medea was played by two women roped to each other, in order to reflect her dual nature and internal conflict. My friend, who played the Nurse, spoke of her mistress' grief with genuine pathos. The other actors seemed too young to feel their parts.

April 2, Thursday: Heard the NY Phil with TCH last night. Stravinsky's Concerto in E-flat for Chamber Orchestra, Dumbarton Oaks (1937-38) opened the concert. Lisa Batiashvili was the soloist in Prokofiev's modernist Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op, 63 (1935), a work he wrote before repatriating to the Soviet Union. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 (1888), after the intermission, was not subtle but rousing nevertheless. The horn in the second movement was lovely. The "fate" motif was thumpingly popular.

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