I don’t think I’ve done this before. I’m writing a second post about a
week that is over. I usually wave goodbye to a work week and focus on
the next one, but this one could use a little more hyperbole.
First of all I’ve got to bask in Bill Caballero’s glory again.
After Friday’s performance I overheard George Vosburgh say to Bill as
he was shaking his hand, "I think that was one of the best ever"
referring to Bill’s solo in the 2nd movement of the Tchaikovsky 5.
That’s a pretty huge statement, knowing as I do that it goes
fantastically each and every time he does it. But, I agree…..it had
the element of total control begetting total freedom……the honest
sense that he was playing with it, like it was pure fun in
music-making. It’s so exciting to be sitting next to that level of
artistry……I’m one lucky guy. That being said, today it was BETTER
somehow. I didn’t think that there was a possibility for improvement
on what he did Friday. If my career depended upon me trying to be that
good, I’d just hang up my horn right now…….it’d be a waste of time
for me to try.
Now I run the risk of really stepping in it with what I’m about to
say. I’m not a big fan of conductors in general. I think that they
get way too much credit for doing way too little. In a way I wish that
they had less effect on our performance, but they matter
somehow…….I just wish that there were more of them that had a
positive effect rather than a neutral or negative effect. This week
was a prime example of a conductor using a huge arsenal of skills and
musicality to make the PSO sound great. We have this inert potential
every week, I wonder what it is exactly that brought it out so
clearly. It’s obvious that these performances were something special.
Rarely is there a spontaneous standing ovation for a world premier work
(Reza Vali’s "The Being of Love"), an outburst of applause after the
short pause before the final "Pomp and Circumstance" wind-up to Tchaik
5, and then a thunderous round of applause from the orchestra for the
conductor (Manfred Honeck) after the concert was over. Honeck deserved
every bit of it. Hopefully this post isn’t the jinx, the kiss of death
to the PSO’s relationship with the guy. He’s terrific…….we deserve