Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Non-review: Pinchas Zukerman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tuesday, January 12.

Shocking as it seems, there was a time not so long ago when we'd have been able to reference a review of this concert, as published in the Courier-Journal on the following day. Those sorts of intellectual flourishes have gone the way of music and arts in schools.

You don't think there's a connection, do you?

We were delighted to be on hand for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's performance on Tuesday evening at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

Pinchas Zukerman conducted and was the soloist on Beethoven's Violin Concerto in A, which was preceded by the "Egmont" Overture (Beethoven) and followed after the intermission by Elgar's Enigma Variations.

I don't possess the training and qualifications to offer a genuine review, apart from observing that Zukerman seemed to be wringing that violin's neck quite convincingly during his showcase. Indeed, pop culture's nods to devils, fiddles and the selling of souls genuinely predate even Charlie Daniels.

It made me think of the similarities and differences between such solos during an orchestral concert, compared to, say, Ritchie Blackmore or Eddie Van Halen at a rock show.

Happy Hour-priced sushi, sides and libations at Sapporo on 4th Street (5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.) may have rendered us nicely mellow, and yet it seemed to be an uncommonly enjoyable evening. In spare moments, I found myself speculating about the logistics of a symphonic orchestra's tour; surely it would take three or four buses for 65 players, their instruments and whatever support personnel are along for the ride.

The demographic composition of the orchestra audiences always fascinates me. This one almost entirely white, and mostly old, but not as much as I thought it would be.

The conclusion: My career of attending pop/rock spectacles could be over. We may begin prioritizing orchestra, opera and Ogle Center come autumn. Not that I'd turn down a Maccabees or Jezabels ticket if either of those two groups ever came to Louisville.

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