We went to Tilles Center for the very first time, for Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, part of my birthday celebration. I have Robert McDuffie’s CD but never seen him live … disappointing … hmmmm the last few times I’ve seen Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto, I’ll have to pick Julia Fisher. McDuffie is kind of geeky, wore an ill-fitted suit, the pants seemed way too skinny and short on him; and his pasture over shadows Joshua Bell, big silly movements. Music is music that never changes, no matter how each individual interprets it: flashy, flamboyant, fascinating, fabulous, .. brings to mind of icy cold, snow sheltered Russia, blood pumping, heart racing vodka .. I closed my eyes trying to recapture Fisher or even Bell, but failed. Gee, I had to forfeit a tennis party tonight. Tchaikovsky himself is much to speculate and desire: his marriage, his patronage relationship with the wealthy widow .. I love his piano concerto #1 too, which Van Cliburn played to win the first competition in Moscow.
Tilles Center is intimate, wide open and comfortable, has unmistakable provincial feel, obviously. 85% sold, the audience is older than the Lincoln Center crowd. How they manage to sell $100 ticket is beyond me. (Ok, parking if free, duh) The violin concerto’s sandwiched between Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides, sweet, light, moist, and Brahms’ symphony #2, played by the hometown folks, the Hamburg Symphony. I think everyone enjoyed this one more, coz they gave an encore. I’ve seen enough soloists giving encores, like Fisher and Li, but an orchestra was first time. TWG, guys.
In the playbill, there is a concert we’d love to go: Olga Kern playing Rachmaninoff piano concerto #2. I saw her won the Cliburn few years ago: against a staple of young men, stiff, polite, traditional, when she wore a fire engine red evening gown and played like a raging bull. Yes, you heard me right, like an animal. She seemed more refined in the picture now, lol. Unfortunately we can’t, just got tickets to the Spamlot on that day. Tough love.