An evening at the Grand Rapids Symphony is an enjoyable night but always has its highs and lows. Here are a few:
Mozart’s Symphony No. 31. His music is mathematically precise and beautiful. That’s the best way I can explain it.
Conductor, David Lockington. I love to watch his direction - it seems somewhat loose and he leads the orchestra half-a-beat ahead, but you know he has total control. He physically draws out what he wants from the players and afterwards makes a point of acknowledging special contributions of specific musicians. He did not speak last night but on other occasions he has offered some background information regarding the composition. His comments are always interesting and laced with humor.
Cellist Daniel Muller-Schott. He was amazing as he performed Dvorak’s Concerto in B minor. He was not only one with his cello but was also one with the composition and the orchestra. He came out of his musical trance between movements and but was immediately back when the first note of the next movement played. The duet he played with the violinist in the third movement was incredible and I think their proximity to each other added to the intensity.
Mahler’s Adagio from his unfinished 10th symphony. There was nothing wrong with the performance but the piece itself should be called "Descent Into Madness". It is a masterful composition and would be a great film score for a film noir. But it was difficult to listen to and the picture I kept seeing was someone being driven into insanity.
A woman a few seats down who was knitting throughout the entire evening. Last time, there was a woman two seats away eating Ritz crackers. Concert etiquette, anyone?