Beethoven’s First & Second at Disney Hall

Gordon and I went to our final concert of the Immortal Beethoven Festival–the First and Second Symphonies. They also threw in two “Romances”, violin concertos, that I’d never heard of before. The soloist was Simone Porter, a lovely young woman from Seattle. She wore a form-fitting gold gown. With her dark hair pulled back, she was just stunning. Played great, too. The Romances were pleasant but I was more impressed with the symphonies, of course. I’d always picked up a lot of Mozart in Beethoven’s first symphonies but last night I heard Haydn influences, too. I’d always considered them sort of throw-away symphonies but Dudamel made them fresh and compelling. Gordon had had meetings all day and I expected him to nod off but he never did. No Zs on the snore scale last night. I’ve really enjoyed the Beethoven cycle but I’m ready to move on. Time for some clank, tinkle music. One comment about the lead violist; she really throws herself into her playing. She plays so passionately I was afraid she’d fall out of her chair. Might have to install a seat belt to keep her safe. I always wonder why they don’t let her solo more often. She’s terrific. She could dance a pas de deux with The Dude. Also had a new version of tympani in the percussion. It was half the usual size, the player sat down to drum, and each drum head had just one tuning peg. It was so cute, I just wanted to give it a hug. Always something new.


About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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