Bach and Mendelssohn at the Los Angeles Phil

Gordon and I went to Disney Hall to hear Dudumel conduct Mendelssohn’s Overture for Harmoniemusik, Bach’s violin Concertos No. 1 and 2, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1. Gil Shaham was the guest soloist for the Bach pieces. Shaham is an emotional violinist. He hunched down in concentration through the tough stuff and danced, pranced, and hopped through the easier stuff, big grin on his face. If it hadn’t been for the monkey suit he could have been a fiddler at a barn dance. Boy, does he know his Bach. I’d never seen him play live before and I really enjoyed his performance. I was new to both Mendelssohn pieces. Felix (I feel like I know him now) wrote the Harmonismusik when he was 15. It was all winds and percussion, no strings. It was playful but not all that compelling. The symphony was GRAND. Apparently, Felix was still quite young when he wrote it but the historian didn’t specify. All I thought was, “Gee, thanks for wrecking the curve for the rest of us.” Anyway, it was an enjoyable concert. The Dude, as usual, conducted without a score. He must have more stuff crammed in that curly head of his. Most impressive.

Almost forgot to mention: my unnamed ‘friend’ who sits in front us detailed her holiday baking plans. She’s baking lots more than me. I stick with two cookie and two candy recipes. And then I wonder why we gain weight. Oh well, it’s once a year.


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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