Muti and Uchida: Beethoven Piano Concerto 3

I’ve been lagging on new posts recently because I’ve been occupied with so many lab reports and finals. Plus, I hosted a very special visitor last week (kind of related to music??..so I’ll share a post on that later), but now that I’m finally on spring break, I can catch up on some blogging and live music. After my last final yesterday, I headed down to Symphony Center to catch the great pianist, Mitsuko Uchida, play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 under Maestro Muti’s baton, as part of the CSO’s season-long cycle of Beethoven piano concerti. Uchida is one of my favorite pianists, and this was the first time that I’ve actually heard her perform live in concert, so this was definitely a memorable experience. One of my favorite parts was when she finished the piece, she and Maestro Muti were basically thanking each other back and forth so many times, and it was really awesome to see the deep respect that these two have for each other. Although Uchida is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart’s works, her Beethoven last night was nothing short of marvelous – the fluidity and poetic lyricism of her playing (especially her cadenza!) really illustrated Beethoven’s profound music. After Bronfman/Muti w/ Beethoven’s 4th, Uchida/Muti w/ Beethoven’s 3rd, I can’t wait until Lupu/Muti take on the famous Emperor concerto (Beethoven’s 5th!).

To open the evening, Maestro Muti conducted Rossini’s overture to La Scala di Seta – I’m surprised that the season has featured so many of Rossini’s overtures (also next season as well, I believe). I still prefer the overture to Semiramide (that Muti conducted last month) a little bit more than this one, but this six-minute overture was really a tremendous showcase for the soft playing of the CSO. Seriously, the CSO’s shading and volume dynamics under Muti is unparalleled (I’ve heard James Levine say this from his own mouth!). And to conclude the evening, Maestro Muti conducted another brilliant rendition, this time of Schumann’s 4th Symphony, weaving through the different sections effortlessly.

 

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