10. August 2007 · Comments Off on A First? · Categories: Quotes, Ramble, Reviews

The orchestra — the Vienna Philharmonic — could have passed for Russian: They played with the appropriate growl, grain, and soul. They were not error-free, dropping the ball here and there. Their pizzicatos can be as ragged as any other orchestra’s. And their principal horn can flub, too. But they were still the Vienna Philharmonic. At evening’s end, Mr. Barenboim had them appear onstage, to receive their applause. This is exceedingly rare.

Wow. On stage. I’ve never heard of this before.

This just made me laugh:

Tatiana writes her letter on a typewriter. What young girl wouldn’t compose her first love letter on a typewriter? The Nurse lies down in what appears her own grave. A man appearing to be a Red Army officer physically attacks Triquet at the name-day party. And there is a violent sexual episode, violent sexual episodes being almost de rigueur in productions here. Directors would not want to lose their street cred.

But maybe this is the best:

You arrive at the opera house during the second intermission. You change into your costume. You sing some recitative, you sing the best aria in the opera, and you sing some more recitative. You get to keep the girl, which is rare for a bass. Then you go home.

Ahhh … musicians! (English hornists get the same sort of gig sometimes. Of course the rest of the orchestra hates us for it. Why is it we really want to play, but then we really want to go home early too? Hmmm.)

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