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Dudamel in Chicago, April 5, 2007 & Los Angeles (PBS telecast), October 21, 2009

Music Ramblings: Dudamel in Chicago (April 5, 2007) and Los Angeles (PBS telecast, October 21, 2009)

April 6, 2007, Dudamel's debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last night (April 5)

I was prepared to be underwhelmed after all the hype bout the 25 y/o Dudamel. Instead, I was knocked out--this kid seems to be the real deal. The Mahler 1st got a reading that was very expressive and interventionist, and it worked magnificently for me.

Anyone else from rmcr there?

Dave Royko


> I've seen him twice, but in the UK -- What did they play?

Castellanos - Santa Cruz de Pacairigua

Bruch - Violin Concerto No. 1 (Pinchas Zukerman, violin)

Mahler - Symphony No. 1

The Castellanos was new to me, and I enjoyed it. The frequent crossrhythms and polytonality made me think of a Latin-American Ives-light (I mean that as a positive), and Dudamel proved his technical mettle right off the bat with this one. What was amazing was that the ovation after this opening piece surpassed many I've heard at the end of CSO concerts, with Dudamel running to various principles and sections. The orchestra seemed almost bemused, but did seem to appreciate him. I'd be very curious to hear any comments Gary Stucka might have to offer.

The Bruch was a real pleasure because I've found Zukerman to be amazingly lifeless for years--the last great concert of his for me was in 1979 or 1980 when he did one of the Brahms viola sonatas. Even if his Bruch wasn't the cleanest I've heard from a technical standpoint, he was much more engaged than I've seen him in years, his playing was expressive, and his tone, in particular, was white hot and intense. He seemed as turned-on by Dudamel as the orchestra and audience.

The Mahler, again, was magnificent. I desperately hope that the CSO broadcasts will include this concert.

Dave Royko


Oct 21, 2009, 7:03 pm, Rugby wrote: Dudamel's LA debut

>...on PBS right NOW. Mahler #1, other.

And I loved the Mahler 1, as I did when he did it on his opening night with the Chicago SO a few years ago -- and my 16-year-old death-metal guitar-playing son watched the entire Mahler 1 tonight with me (without any prompting), and enjoyed it. THAT was wonderful.

I'm only truly familiar with a few of Adams' pieces, based on that he doesn't usually do that much for me, except for Harmonielehre, which I like a great deal (and have heard the CSO do, which only strengthened my feelings for it). Last night's new piece didn't grab me on first hearing, though the last couple of minutes were exciting.

But that Mahler 1 -- really something. Having heard an Israel Philharmonic broadcast from a few years ago and the CSO performance, and now last night's broadcast, I'd say it's a signature piece for him.

Dave Royko


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