The Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero and Pianist Lang Lang: EXCEL!!! Nashville Symphony Graphic Designers/Editors: FAIL!!!
I had the distinct pleasure of being taken to Opening Night at the Nashville Symphony last Friday night. My bf Ben had surprised me with tickets and I was particularly pleased that the fabulous Chinese pianist, Lang Lang, was going to be performing Beethoven's Concerto No. 3 in C minor! In fact, it was an all-Beethoven night.
The Nashville Symphony, performing in their gorgeous and relatively new Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, opened with the Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a. I was not familiar with this piece, and actually for a good reason! This Leonore Overture was the second overture written for Beethoven's Fidelio (the only opera ever written by Beethoven), and was used at the opera's first revival in 1806. While this overture, along with two others, did not end up being the one ultimately selected, it was a beautiful piece to begin Friday evening's concert with!
Giancarlo Guerrero did a wonderful job conducting the Nashville Symphony and as soon as the Leonore Overture was complete, the musicians re-arranged themselves and made way for the Steinway grand piano to come up from below the stage.
Lang Lang's performance was spectacular! As a pianist myself with a music degree in Piano Performance, I have to admit that it takes a REALLY SPECIAL PERFORMER to pique my interest. Lang Lang exceeded all of my expectations. I even found tears coming to my eyes in different parts of the Largo movement. His ability to play softly blows my mind. Also, his ability to play within the standard Classical style while still exuding passion and excitement for the Beethoven Concerto No. 3 in C minor was simply exquisite.
Our audience seemed to agree. With four ovations, Lang Lang was persuaded to play an encore of one of my favorites, the "Aeolian Harp" Etude by Chopin, Op. 25 No. 1. It was equally gorgeous and then the star set himself up in the lobby of Schermerhorn Symphony Hall and signed autographs! Too fun! I got this picture of him...
I know I should mention Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, which followed Lang Lang's performance and was marvelous again under Giancarlo Guerrero's conducting! I must say, though, my thoughts were completely on the exhilarating performance of Lang Lang and it was difficult to focus!!!
Thank you Nashville Symphony directors and board for bringing Lang Lang to Nashville! He was amazing and this native Nashvillian left very inspired - I went home and practiced!
On a separate note, I am a bit peeved about the front of the InConcert performance notes booklet - they have the grand piano turned the wrong way - did anybody else notice this or just me? It's embarrassing, to say the least, and my hats are NOT OFF to the graphic editors who slipped up on this.
That's my only gripe. Just sayin'.
Take it away, Lang Lang!!! Please come back and soon!
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