* Notes *
On Friday Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program of Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lou Harrison, and John Adams. The Salonen is heavily orchestrated in the manner of much contemporary music, with a plethora of percussion, including six bongos and four tom-toms. Dudamel kept the volume to non-deafening levels, even if the brass did have harsh moments. The Piano Concerto from Harrison that followed had significantly fewer orchestra members on stage. At times it seemed that the soloist, Marino Formenti, and the orchestra were not playing in the same piece. This kept the music quite interesting, in any case. Formenti's playing was appealing and sensitive, yet could be brutal.
City Noir had a world premiere at LA Phil last month, but John Adams was in attendance nonetheless. The work has nearly twice as many sorts of percussive instruments as the first piece. The musicians seemed together and engaged, the viola solo in the second movement was particularly fine, as was the trumpet solo in the last movement. If nothing else, Dudamel certainly conveyed excitement.
* Tattling *
There was no whispering or talking in the Terrace View, and very little noise in general from this section. Coughs could be heard throughout the hall. It was remarkable to see how few empty seats there were, given that the program consisted entirely of new music.