Dudamel, Shaham, and LA Phil make old standards sound fresh; Julien Beaudiment sits in as first-chair flute
February 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Gustavo Dudamel returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic podium for the first time since October 14, 2012. Most of the next few weeks will be devoted to preparing programs for the orchestra’s upcoming tour to Europe and New York, but this past weekend’s concerts were not going to be played out of town.
On paper, it seemed like an unexciting tune-up — Music Director and orchestra getting a little re-acquainted after a few months apart by playing some Romantic oldies by Wagner and Schumann, and joined by star violinist Gil Shaham for another run through the ubiquitous Brahms violin concerto.
Fortunately, what could have been a hum-drum concert turned out to be a lovely Sunday afternoon of music, with Messers. Dudamel and Shaham helping to bring these works to life. Pieces that can easily feel like drab museum pieces instead were made to sound vigorous and contemporary.
The collaboration between conductor and soloist in the Brahms was particularly rewarding to experience. These are two extremely committed musicians who are always having fun while they are on stage, and they aren’t afraid that anyone else knows it.