Saturday, March 3, 2012

Concert Exhaustion

I suffer from concert exhaustion at present, and so does Andrew.

We heard two orchestral concerts last weekend, and two orchestral concerts the weekend before that. Since January 1, we have attended eight concerts and recitals. That is a heavier dosage of concerts and recitals than I normally prefer.

So what is on our schedule for this weekend? A recital by pianist Imogen Cooper at Sundin Music Hall.

Despite our recent flurry of concert activity, I am happy to go to the recital. Cooper has announced a program of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Schumann. The fare is appealing.

The concert will be sponsored by The Frederic Chopin Society of Minneapolis.

Minnesota is home to countless organizations with 19th-Century do-gooder titles, such as The Frederic Chopin Society and The Schubert Club, two prominent Twin Cities music organizations. The concept of self-improvement lives on in Minnesota if nowhere else.

I have never been inside Sundin Music Hall. It is one of several concert halls in the Twin Cities I have never visited.

I continue to be astonished how many fine music venues there are in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. There are more fine music venues in the Twin Cities than there are in London—and the Greater London Metropolitan Area has ten times the population of the Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan Area—and additional Twin Cities music venues are in the works, what with a second concert hall at The Ordway now under construction.

The following weekend, I think we may attend a performance of Donizetti’s opera, “Lucia di Lammermoor”, to be presented by Minnesota Opera. Andrew and I had planned to skip this particular Minnesota Opera presentation because neither of us is fond of the music of Donizetti, but word-of-mouth from insiders privy to rehearsal results has been exceptional—and the positive word-of-mouth from music professionals has caused Andrew and me to reassess the situation.

The soprano scheduled to sing Lucia sang the role last autumn at Lyric Opera Of Chicago, a far more important company than Minnesota Opera, and she has been a regular presence at the Metropolitan Opera for the last three or four years. Andrew and I decided we would be foolish to miss out, especially since Minnesota Opera mounts only five productions each season.

The following weekend, we shall attend a Minnesota Orchestra concert of music by Sibelius, Szymanowski and Kodaly. We shall use the subscription tickets of Andrew’s parents, as they shall be in France.

Three days later, we shall hear violinist Christian Tetzlaff in solo recital at Mann Concert Hall. We bought our tickets this afternoon once we discovered that some seats had been placed on sale for $10.00. We decided that to hear Tetzlaff play solo violin literature by Bach and Bartok for a mere $10.00 was irresistible.

The following weekend, we shall attend a performance by Houston Ballet, which will be on tour in the Twin Cities. Since Andrew’s parents will still be in France, we shall use their tickets.

In the month of March, we WILL forego two concerts by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, concerts that we had earlier penciled into our calendars. Both programs are predominantly devoted to Haydn symphonies, which I love—but our recent surfeit of concert-going resulted in the two SPCO Haydn programs being removed from our list.

Something had to go . . . and the SPCO Haydn programs took the hit.

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