Savor Zestfully the Tones

Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, discussing the upcoming PSO concert on WQED-FM, expressed his opinion that the beauty of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 is not quite as beautiful as No. 8, but is more dramatic, and that within the movements lies a certain amount of passion. It’s always interesting to me to hear Noseda’s wonderful Italian accent as he speaks live, somehow the words seem more interesting than simply reading them. He went on to discuss with Jim Cunningham his appearance on CNBC and the need to continue investing in culture during difficult economic conditions. The recession in Italy has changed the nature of this funding, shifting away from government to private sponsorship. As he said, this is the way it’s typically done in the US, and now becoming a reality in Italy. In his words: “If you like us, help us.”

It was thrilling to watch Enrico Dindo play the cello. There was a man who seemed to relish the playing, savor zestfully the tones generated by every gesture and the esteem he placed on the sequence of notes rubbed off on me by emphatically increasing my appetite for the creative composition, for the cello as a solo instrument, and for symphonic music. The expressions on Dindo’s face summed up the complete picture.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2 is an interesting composition to say the least. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the composer’s works more and more. Each new work I experience I tend to like right away. This was precisely the case with this Cello concerto. Somehow the beat and rhythm compel my interest, to grab me like a hook and drag me into the composition. In fact, I now prefer this cello concerto more than any of the others I’ve heard, including Elgar, Dvorak and Honegger

It seemed to me to be almost a monumental task to synchronize the solo cello with the orchestra, yet Noseda, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Dindo pulled it off with adroit alacrity.

Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 returns the flavor back to the classical/romantic form which conjures images of what one typically thinks of as being symphonic music. Dvořák has expertly composed a symphony which one might want to listen to over and over. The theme is exactly as described by conductor Noseda: passionate and dramatic. I’d add: gorgeous. The scherzo/third movement is instantly recognizable, and easy to remember, I was humming the melody after the concert.

One more note: after the concerto Enrico Dindo played a wonderful encore…

Here is a performance of the same by Rostropovich – Bach Cello Suite No.1 – Allemande

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Jan 16