For me, 2007 was a rich concert year. It began in January with
MahlerFest where we heard Thomas Hampson sing Das Lied von der Erde
with the Mahler orchestra conducted by Robert Olson. It was the most
moving DLvdE I have ever heard. In February the Emersons came to town
and played all three Razumovskys. This is as good as it gets. March
brought us the St. Lawrence Quartet playing Haydn, Janacek, and the
Beethoven opus 130 with Grosse Fuge. Unbelieveably intense. In April
I heard the second performance of Ofer Ben-Amots's "Klezmer Concerto"
played by David Krakauer. Brilliant writing and playing. A few days
later I went to San Francisco to hear The Damnation of Faust with Charles
Dutoit. Fabulous! May was at least as good with Eschenbach and the
Philadelphia doing the Symphony Fantastique -- surely the best performance
of SF that I have heard. A few nights later the SSO did a stunning
performance of Bluebeard's Castle with breath-taking sets designed by
Dale Chihuly. Charles Robert Austin and Sally Burgess sang the work in
Hungarian. In September, the Northwest Mahler Festival Orchestra performed
Turangalila conducted by Geoffrey Simon. Overwhelming! In November I
heard Jon Kimura Parker play the Brahms First Piano Concerto with the
Vancouver Symphony. Parker produced the most exciting interpretation
of this piece that I have heard since I heard William Kapell play it in
San Francisco about 60 years ago. Also in November the SSO did a fine
performance of the Shostakovitch #11.
The year's best new music was a chamber work by David Avshalomov:
"Trotsky's Train" for piano and string quartet. I did not get to hear
it live, but I have a recording of the September concert in Santa Monica.
This work has great power and substance, like the best of Shostakovitch.
I hope someday to hear it live.
2008 will have to go a long way to live up to this past year in the
David Lamb in Seattle
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