Friday night, we saw Joshua Bell play Mendelssohn’s concerto in E minor for violin and orchestra, followed by Hindemith’s When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d (a setting of selections from Whitman to music).
Naturally, Bell was the real draw. He was very ‘present’ during the first movement, but didn’t always impose himself on the second and third movements. That said. Joshua Bell. Wouldn’t have missed it. And, c’mon. You just can’t go wrong with a Mendelssohn violin concerto. It’s like sex. Great sex is, well, great. Bad sex… is still pretty good. And Bell makes it like sex with a supermodel, so even if the sex is not good, well, there a supermodel.
The Hindemith piece was very moving. There was a huge chorus and two leads, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano, so the tones were pretty deep and necessarily somber. The Whitman selections were about the Civil War and the death of Lincoln, so it was almost an elegy, but a distinctly American elegy. Hindemith may have been a German expatriate, but When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d inspired a sort of patriotism in me.
Anyway. You’re not supposed to ever take photographs inside the hall, but I did anyway.