First CSO concert of 2016! Before the CSO embarks on their first Asia tour with Maestro Muti (hard to believe, right?), the CSO is in town this week for a series of concerts featuring conductor Jonathan Nott and cellist Johannes Moser.
Because last night’s concert was an Afterworks Masterworks concert, the planned Brahms piece for the rest of the week’s subscription concerts was not performed. Instead, the CSO (led by Stephanie Jeong) paid a beautiful tribute to the great Pierre Boulez, who passed away two days ago, by playing the Aria from the Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3.
Immediately afterwards, Nott conducted Moser and the CSO in the Haydn Cello Concerto. Moser was brilliant – he played with such clarity, emotion, and precision. Then, Nott conducted the CSO in Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, which featured CSO concertmaster Robert Chen on violin. The famed CSO brass sound was also prominently featured during this performance. The through-composed piece, filled with various leitmotifs, is highly reminiscent of Wagner’s work, but was originally written to reflect Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony – in any case, a grand and majestic piece of music.
After the concert, patrons were invited to the Grainger ballroom upstairs for a conversation with Moser (as well as free cups of red/white wine). Moser was also kind enough to take photos and sign programs with everyone after the conversation ended! Unfortunately, the 2015-2016 season is the last of which these Afterwork Masterworks programs are scheduled. The last one of the season will be next month, where Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct Lutoslawski – hopefully I can make it!