Monday, March 08, 2010

Zuihitsu: Things Out of Place

Things Out of Place

A flute in a trumpet case. A red crayon slash on white linen. A spray of heath in a plastic pail outside a deli. A cheeky boy among mourners at a wake. A beautiful man married to a woman. A Singaporean in New York. The Singaporean in Singapore. The moon in a lake.

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Listened with LW to the London Philharmonic, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, at Lincoln Center on Sunday. Shostakovich's Five Fragments (1935) were minimalist delights. The conducting was precise but not prissy. Alexander Toradze played Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major (1929-31). The second movement was extremely moving, and I teared up. As LW said, the French is just so good at handling sentimentality with intellectual wit.

After the intermission the orchestra played Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4 in C minor. It was massive and manic, especially the first and last movements. Show-offish, but inventive and colorful, nevertheless. It was deeply indebted to Mahler for its woodland sounds and march-like melodies.

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