Virutouso Musician Playing Shostakovich

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Had the pleasure of attending a concert in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic this week. The performance consisted of three set pieces of which two featured the cello virtuouso Alexander Knjazev (conductor: Stephane Deneve) and finished with two encore’s.

The main program started with a rather “modern” suite from the ballet ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ by Prokofiev. Then we were savaged by a Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 in E flat major… it was flat and major indeed.

I would be remiss not to be thankful for the culture. And I certainly was impressed by the fingers of Mr Knjazev — Shostakovich is frequently excessive in its difficulty. It was all the more impressive in that he played the entire performance by heart. And Mr Knjazev also allowed his personality to show through with the occasional smirk or funny glances. However, I could not stomach it. It just seemed so pretentious. In short, it was a performance for experts. Not much room to invite in “amateur” musical lovers.

On the lighter side, both Mr Deneve and Mr Knjazev clearly share the same hairdresser.

3 Comments, RSS

  1. Anonymous March 17, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

    So I guess we did the right thing. With a few friends we went to the “U Zlatéhu Tigru” for a few beers just before the Gala dinner.

  2. Ned Bouhalassa March 18, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

    Clearly, many virtusostic players are paid by the note (blame their agents). Which explains in some part why the Dead made so much moohla!

  3. Minter March 18, 2007 @ 11:26 pm

    LOL. Reminds me of the wonderful moment in the film “Amadeus” when his Excellency tells Mozart that there are “too many notes” in his latest piece and Mozart asks, “Which notes would you like me to remove?” Could never be enough of his notes, eh!?

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