Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The National Philharmonic on April Fool's Day

My mom and I went to see the National Philharmonic perform at the Strathmore last weekend. She had never been there before, and it's one of my favorite venues, so I was glad we could see a show together. Plus, she loves Mozart, so it was the perfect night!

The show started with "Ein musikalischer Spass," which translates as "A Musical Joke" or "Musical Fun." This was a very well-chosen piece to play that night, because it was April Fool's Day! The program describes the piece with terms like "intentional ineptitude" and "bewildering repertoire of what not to do: wrong notes, impossible playing techniques, random harmonic progressions, clumsy orchestration, unorthodox scales, unresolved dissonances, lopsided musical phrases..." Mozart was having fun with music, and putting sounds together in a way that was not normal, and nearly impossible (it's actually hard to play music purposefully in the wrong way!); he also had the horns play notes that had not yet been created! The conductor, Piotr Gajewski, gave us a little background on the piece before we heard it, which was helpful. Otherwise, we may have thought they were just having a bad night (although, I will say most of it still sounds very pretty)!

Next was the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488. Eric Lu was playing the piano, and he is only 18 years old! He was very good; his fingers just flowed across the keys, and he had no sheet music. Bravo!

Here's the piece (but without Eric Lu playing):

Click here to see some videos of Eric Lu playing the piano.

The night ended with Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K 550:

What a lovely evening! I'm already looking forward to their performance on May 20!

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