Saturday, February 16, 2013

Russians Bring Prokofiev's Soul to SF 

The Russian National Orchestra was in town for two concerts at Davies Symphony Hall this week, and I made it to their Wednesday evening performance for the first half of the program.

Daniil Trifonov, a rising young pianist, brought the soul of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 to life. Resembling actor Bud Cort during his "Harold and Maude" phase, Triifonov played from memory and with unabashed gusto.

Members of the orchestra delighted in keeping pace with him, creating a cohesive sound that stirred my ears. Triifonov may have been the star in the limelight, but he generously didn't overpower his colleagues. For the more subdued sections, he displayed a delicate fingering of the piano keys.

Once it was over, the audience lustily applauded and most patrons stood for an ovation. Triifonov readily sat back down and played a short solo by Prokofiev, which I wished had been longer.

As much I wanted to stay for the second half, I left at intermission because there was too much fragrance in the hall, adversely effecting my breathing. Sorry I didn't get the chance to experience Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, but I went home happy having thoroughly enjoyed what I did hear.

2 comments:

Michael Strickland said...

Don't mean to be cruel or anti-Eastern bloc, but you're reminding me of a concert at Davies where the soloist was a young Armenian pianist playing Khatchaturian, and everywhere you turned there were middle-aged Armenian women decked out to the nines, all of them wearing overpowering perfumes. We tried to move from one seat to another to escape it, but kept jumping out of the olfactory frying pan into the fire.

Russian ladies are just as bad, and you were at a concert of the touring Russian National Orchestra, so I can just imagine the perfume bombs.I knew there was a reason I was staying far away from those concerts.

Michael Petrelis said...

There's an advisory printed in the program about refraining from using fragrances because of patrons with allergies, which I hope the people wearing fragrances heed in the future. Thank goodness there was good ventilation blowing in the hall, otherwise I might have left during the Prokofiev.