A few weeks ago, I saw the Franco Zeffirelli production of La Boheme twice- once with Anna Netrebko and once without. Suffice it to say, the Netrebko version was way better. The production was incredible, probably the best thing I’ve seen on stage, at least in terms of direction. Everything about it was great.
Other than that, it’s been a slow few weeks for concerts. I saw Bellini’s La Sonnambula, which was basically a good production of a boring opera. Sure, there are some great arias in it, especially at the end, but the story and characters are so bland that I never enjoy it. In addition, the conductor was taking some sections so painfully slow that it was nearly unbearable.
There are some great things coming up this week, though. Tomorrow, I’m seeing the Tokyo String Quartet, which is very exciting. They’re doing some Schubert, Brahms, and Barber. Then, later in the week, is Krystian Zimerman, which should be wonderful. He’s doing an all-Chopin concert. I’ve been watching a video of him doing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on YouTube, it’s pretty great. At 20, he played it better than almost anyone I’ve ever seen or heard. That second movement always gets me- Chopin is arguably my favorite melodist.
Other than music stuff, I’ve been seeing some cool sights, but I guess even those are somewhat music-related. I went to the Kunsthistoriches Museum the other day to see a Mahler exhibit, which was quite interesting. They had a ton of artifacts from his life, including his famous glasses (the ones that sat on his nose), his cabbie hat, and many of his manuscripts from symphonies and lieder. There were also a lot of paintings and sketches from his operas. The exhibit really got into why he was such an innovative conductor, which you don’t usually hear much about.
I also visited the Freud Museum this week. It was exciting to be in his apartment, and to see his office, where he had his famous couch. The couch wasn’t there, but they had pictures up so you could imagine what the room looked like with all his furniture in it. Being in that room was very exciting for me, as I’m very interested in psychology. Cool experience.
Today, I’m just sitting around. I watched Act II of Siegfried this afternoon. Soon, I’m going to do some laundry, and tonight I’m practicing.
Thats all I got right now. I’ll post again soon!