Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Review

I was recently wonderfully surprised to read a review in The Boston Musical Intelligencer about a concert I was involved in. It wasn't so much of a review in the normal sense of an intellectual dissection of the music or the performer's technical capabilities, but rather, the reviewer shared his personal feelings about each piece inspired by the performance.  For the Leclair concerto, he wrote the following:

"Court musician of Louis XV and later of the Princess of Orange, Jean-Marie Leclair was 18 when Louis XIV died and 19 when Watteau painted his FĂȘte Galante, depicting a return to a more Gallic, amorous and permissive society. Les Bostonades gave the Flute Concerto in C Major an engaging and slightly mysterious Allegro which moved away from courtly pomp to a more down-to-earth gentility. With Teddie Hwang’s sensitive phrasing on the traverso, the Adagio urged us to take interest in tender emotions and small but meaningful human interactions. The concluding allegro assai celebrated convivial gathering, in which human beings enjoy each other’s company through a shared curiosity in developing a new science of human emotions." (Leon Golub, May 24, 2014)

It is exactly this kind of inspirational storytelling which I've been going after recently in performances. I was happy to read that Mr. Golub caught on to our "stories", in addition to sharing his own. Despite feeling somewhat apprehensive before the concert, my mission was accomplished!

I certainly hope many audience members experienced the music in a similar way as well. Some of you may know that I've been experimenting with different ways in presenting concerts, and I'm certain that the most compelling performances are those that connect listeners personally or emotionally. There are ways to achieve this and to reach out to all sorts of people through classical music, crossing boundaries of class, cliques, and exclusivity. This is hardly about "selling" classical music, but rather, coming home to what music means on a fundamental level.