The Redlands Symphony has been celebrating their 60th season, and this is the second concert I have seen of theirs this season. It was at the University of Redlands' Memorial Chapel, Conducted by Co Nguyen, and the program was the following:
Anthony Suter (b. 1979)
Symphony No. 9, op 95, E minor
Where to I begin?
Yesterday's heat was a killer, and to be honest it was putting me off in going to the Symphony. Luckily after a bottle of champagne I was ready. After spending some time finding parking we walked our way into the gorgeous Memorial Chapel, I noticed everyone was extremely underdressed. Regardless of the heat we were wearing suits. The least a woman could do is put on a pair of heels. Denim doesn't cut it at the symphony, nor do sandals. Already the standard was not set high to begin with.
We had great seats in the balcony, second row to be exact. The conductor, a petite little Asian came on stage and the concert began. I am not some acclaimed musician or a musical critic. So, this is just my judgement on the event... Well as a patron of the arts...
The first piece started off quite good. It was originally part of the composer's doctorate work. I love classical music, and I love contemporary music. I love music in general, this was more of an experimental score of music that has the appearance of an awkward movie score. The middle lagged, and it was like listening to the sounds you would hear in an underground sewer construction project. Finally, the ending was quite nice, but it didn't feel complete- thus I did want more from this composer. Overall I thought it was nice, and I thought it could have been a nice ballet.
Speaking of ballet... Pulcinella Suite.... Where to I begin? I don't know if it was the conductor or the symphony's lack of understanding of the ballet but this suite was way under par. What should have been playful was boring, and what should have been energetic, staccato, and light seemed heavy, dull, and muddy. The tempos seemed off, and the Toccata movement was far from the speed we see in the ballet. It was very disappointing for the reason: that the idea of Stravisnky being played in the Inland Empire is delightful, but if you are going to do such a regarded composer (by the way the program compared him to Glee... It was really tacky) you should do it well, and this wasn't as clean, precise or exciting.
Needless to say I was underwhelmed so we left at intermission. This is the second Redlands Symphony Concert I have left at intermission due to the lack luster of performance quality.
Reviewing my daily life...