May. 10th, 2017

calimac: (Haydn)
Charles Dutoit conducted two big pieces - Mozart's K.482 piano concerto with Emanuel Ax, and Debussy's La mer - and two bonbons rarely heard from orchestras at this level, de Falla's Three-Cornered Hat dances and Sibelius' Karelia Suite, the latter of which SFS had never done before.

The pre-concert speaker described La mer as not trying to portray the sea in the way that Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony portrayed a storm, but more to portray one's feelings in response to the sea.

And I thought, is this a case of the locating emotional response solely in the respondent and not in any inherent qualities of what's being responded to that C.S. Lewis railed against in The Abolition of Man?

Maybe, but the performance itself put the lie to the premise. It was most outstanding in the surging sections, the parts that carried the most dramatic onomatopoeia of the sea. That was the highlight of a compact and intense performance.

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