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Some musing about a concert at Symphony Hall

Tonight we went to Symphony Hall to hear the Dresden Staatskapelle play Beethoven's First Piano Concerto and Brahms' Fourth Symphony. Also they played an encore which we didn't recognize. It was a very fine concert and well worth the trip out in the cold night.

In the program notes it explained that Beethoven's 1st was actually written after the 2nd but for marketing reasons the order of publication was reversed by several years. At its debut Beethoven conducted from the piano. He apparently had been sick for several days before and was still finishing the piece from his sick bed. It also said that the parts transcribers wrote some parts out in C# by mistake; the piece is in C so it had to be played in that key!

Another of the peculiar things about classical music concerts - the musicians wear formal clothes and don't say a word. Occasionally a musician will announce what he/she's playing for an encore but it is rare. We'll find out tomorrow what we heard when we read the review.

Looking about the audience I'd say there were few people under 50 years old - doesn't speak well to the future of classical music concerts.

At intermission we went into the bar/café where they had an exhibition about Elliott Carter who is about to have his 100th birthday. I saw a notice that the BSO will perform a world premiere of one of his new works next month! Quite impressive. I was amused by this nice letter he wrote to a conductor who was about to conduct one of his pieces and at the bottom it had some corrections to the score.
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