Posts Tagged 'Andrew Druckenbrod'

CSO, Levin, Khitruk shine Saturday in an evening of debuts

CSO, Levin, Khitruk shine Saturday in an evening of debuts

Monsters, witches and a devil (well, Stalin, anyway). This was perhaps not a typical program for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, but it was in turns electrifying, poignant, lovely and menacing.

In fact, the concert Saturday night in the Amphitheater was an intriguing look at danger set in Russia. It began with the fantastical one of two monsters that abduct the characters Russlan and Ludmilla in the opera of the same name by Glinka, moved to the frightful Slavic legend of Baba Yaga and concluded with Shostakovich’s secret account of the brutality of Stalin’s regime. All led by, with a measure of irony, but a conductor at ease, the American Ira Levin.

CSO Saturday performance ‘bursting with emotion and profundity’

CSO Saturday performance ‘bursting with emotion and profundity’

In all the traditional arts, there may be no greater a misnomer today than the accepted designation that classical music is tranquil — that it is suitable stuff for relaxation and the background. Anyone who has listened to a Beethoven symphony, Verdi opera or Stravinsky ballet on earphones certainly knows that isn’t the case. Classical music is the realm of drama, of tremendous contrast, of tension and release.