Gil Shaham – Doug Bauman

Gil Shaham performed the solo for both of these at Heinz Hall this evening:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 2
Franz Joseph Haydn: Violin Concerto No. 2

His movements were graceful and deliberate.
The violin he played had the most magnificent tone.
When the movement called for two strings to be played simultaneously, the sound came forth with striking clarity, and immediately grabbed my attention. Then he would return to the pure tones of the composition and his marvelous style. His smile was brimming — there is never a doubt when I see that, it’s the musician who equally loves the music.
I’ve heard both of these concertos before; both have marvelous simplicity yet melody and harmony which are catchy and so pleasant to hear. Although my favorite Mozart violin concerto is number 3 – for it’s wow factor, I do have to say that number 2 is equally nice, and this performance was invigorating. Mr Shaham and the orchestra (smaller than the full orchestra) played the notes extremely pure, and with the excellent acoustics at Heinz Hall, I could hear and enjoy a distinct clarity. If I closed my eyes it was as if I were right there up on stage.
The Haydn was another concerto I’ve heard often on CD and radio, and is much better when played live at Heinz Hall. Here is Mr. Shaham playing another Haydn concerto: Haydn Co 1, 1st mov
One of my friends thought it might be odd to play these two smaller limited concertos at Heinz Hall, as if this were a chamber concert, but somehow I believe it worked, it was a good classical introduction to the second half of the program, the larger romantic Mahler Symphony number 4.
As I was listening to both of these concertos, I imagined I could place myself anywhere in the concert hall, and photograph the artists and their instruments on the stage. Since I am an amateur photographer, I enjoy visioning what a possible ‘shot’ would look like, even if I don’t have my camera in hand. The PSO doesn’t allow photography of the musicians on the stage, I suspect it is because flash would completely distract warm-ups or the actual performance; and perhaps because they want to maintain a certain decorum, and would prefer that their photographs be professionally produced to be of good quality.
So I sit there, and listen intently to the wonderful music, and I imagine the perspectives I could create, the kinds of lighting I could use for background ‘bokeh’ a sort of effect you often see in photography. The photos above were taken in the lobby as Mr. Shaham was signing autographs. I didn’t use the flash, as I didn’t want to distract Mr. Shaham while he signed.
I’ll post again on the wonderful Mahler Symphony…

2 Responses to “Gil Shaham – Doug Bauman”

  1. Doug, I’ve often wanted to capture the moment at the symphony with a photo too. It’s a natural impulse in our modern age I guess.
    I think the PSO doesn’t allow it not only because of the risk of a light flash but also because it could require getting permission from the performers and other rights owners. There’s a similar issue in theater, when one is not even permitted to photo graph a stage set before a performance, because of copyrights.
    Texting and tweeting during a performance have similar constraints. (And there’s also the issue of disturbing our fellow patrons.) Terry Teachout had an opinion piece on just this issue recently. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703699204575016970909969024.html
    This is an interesting situation for those of us who want to share the event. I’m completely torn on the issue. On one hand, I hate to disrupt anyone’s enjoyment of the performance, and I would not consider violating the performers’ rights. On the other, if I had the opportunity to share my experience live, maybe that would convey my excitement to others who could then buy tickets for a subsequent performance.
    I appreciate Liz Perry’s drawings at the symphony at least in part because she can capture the moment as it happens, without causing any disruption.
    Most likely attitudes and rules on this issue will evolve in the next few years. It’s going to be interesting to watch.
    I’d love to see the photographs you’d have taken at this performance. It would make my memories of being there even more concrete.

  2. Doug Bauman says:

    Thanks for your thoughts and the link!
    Just brainstorming here, but maybe once a season the PSO should have a ‘young persons’ concert. With all kinds of things only allowed for that one concert. 😉

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Feb 1