The inaugural edition of “All is Yar’s Most Favorite and Noteworthy Classical Music Stuff of the Year”
December 31, 2012 Leave a comment
As we reach the end of December, it’s traditionally time for a retrospective look at the year that is just completed. Since 2012 was the first full calendar year of All is Yar‘s existence, it’s an especially important one for me. I’ve been fortunate — dare I say “blessed” — to have been able to experience more performances than I would’ve guessed at the beginning of the year — most of them somewhere between really good and truly awesome.
After some very detailed number-crunching, extremely scientific analysis, and deeply meditative internal reflection (OK, maybe more like some quality time with a green tea and some scotch), I decided to follow tradition and write-up a list of stuff I thought was worth mentioning. So cozy up to a loved one, grab a glass of your favorite beverage, and get yourself ready for . . . (cue trumpet fanfare) . . . the first-ever ”All is Yar‘s Most Favorite and Noteworthy Classical Music Stuff of the Year”.
Best Orchestral Performance: Simon Rattle conducting the LA Phil in works by Ligeti, Wagner, and Bruckner
- Sir Simon led a performance so gripping, so absolutely awesome, it didn’t even matter that the concert featured three of my least favorite composers.
- First of all, we’re a talking Le Sacre du Printemps here, pretty much my favorite orchestral work ever. Secondly, the performance by the Mr. Dudamel and the LA Phil was as good as I’ve heard from that combination, so good in fact that I had to see it twice (hence the parenthetical plural “Concert(s)” above). Third, we got the added bonus of a bright new work from Mr. Stucky. Fourth, did I mention the concert included Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, which is pretty much my favorite orchestral work ever?
Best Performance of a Work I Don’t Need to Hear Again for a Long, Long Time: Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony do Franck’s Symphony
- Really, CSO?? You don’t come to Southern California for more than a generation, and this is what you bring along?!! I mean, it sounded great and all, but . . . come on, man!