* Notes *
Mariss Jansons and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (pictured left, photograph courtesy of Bayerischer Rundfunk) performed Shostakovich and Beethoven as the closing concert of this year's Lucerne Festival zu Ostern. The orchestra played Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54 first. The piece is quite odd, having a vernal, yet dark quality to it. The playing all around was splendid. The brass was clean but warm, the woodwinds gleamed, the strings shimmered, and the whole sound came together perfectly.
During intermission, the orchestra was rearranged to have first and second violins on the outside, the violas next to the seconds, and the celli next to the firsts. Before the violas had been downstage, the celli next to them, and the seconds next to the firsts. To end we heard Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. Jansens seems to have immaculate control of the orchestra, and the musicians played evenly, with precision, but much bright richness as well. I was impressed by how good the horn sounded, and how the piccolo, which seemed sinister in the Shostakovich, sounded perfectly bird-like in the Beethoven.
* Tattling *
There was light whispering and some coughs during the music, but this was only a minor nuisance.