Alas, unlike the last symphony performance I went to, (Joshua Bell and Manfred Honeck) the conductor, Andris Nelson (and his hair) stayed firmly in place.
Every once in a while, Mr. Nelson did bend deep and jump up with the music as he led the PSO on a two-hour spectacle. But his hair didn’t budge an inch. (Maybe I’m just waaaay too used to the flying spectacle that is Joshua Bell’s hair….)
Ditto for Sarah Chang. She arced and moved with feline grace as she played, but nary a hair on her head escaped the simplistic hairstyle she was rocking.
No no, the movement wasn’t in her hair…it was in the dress!
THE dress! I can’t even begin to explain the gorgeousness of that dress. Form-fitting, silver beaded, it was fantastic, and Sarah looked absolutely fantastic in it.
Now, I don’t know why I was surprised to see her strut on stage in such a dress, considering that this last February, I spoke with her on the phone about this very topic: dress arrangements. She just looves dressing up! (I’ll be posting that article soon on my arts and entertainment blog, bethanyhensel.blogspot.com, so check it out soon.)
And Sarah is very good at dressing up. She dressed up her petite frame and looked like a goddess. She dressed up Christopher Theofanidis’ Violin Concerto and made it soar. She’s good at embellishments, while at the same time never delineating from the original frame.
Speaking of Christopher Theofanidis’ Violin Concerto….the first movement, honestly, wasn’t my favorite. The second, well, in the words of the Post Gazette, it was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS! Incredibly melodic, very tender, very sweet. It was perfection. The third and final movement was pretty amazing, too. But I’m completely in love with the second movement and I just can’t talk about anything else with as much fervor as that.
A nice touch to the first half of the program: the composer himself, Mr. Theofanidis, came on stage and introduced his piece. With the help of Concertmaster and EXCELLENT violinist, Andrés Cárdenes, he walked us through what we could expect with this brand new work.
23 minutes long, the Concerto flew past. I felt like ten minutes hadn’t elapsed before the entire auditiorium was on their feet in a very big standing ovation. Brava, indeed. Ms. Chang deserved every hoot and holler.
During intermission, I went to greet her and she remembered me and the telephone converstation we shared. That was really cool. She’s a doll and sweetheart and gorgeous. (Don’t be fooled though, by that pretty face. She’s got a great sense of humor and is just sharp as nails. A real woman!)
Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 was just a showcase for the PSO. And believe me, every single note was a supernova.
The entire night was, in fact, a veritable explosion!