Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Moments from last weekend's final concerts with Esa-Pekka Salonen

I am sitting here, a short week off from teaching, still basking in the glow of last weekend's final LA Philharmonic concerts with legendary conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Here is an LA Times article with a great photo capturing the emotion of the last concert on Sunday (some random Master Chorale basses - hi Scott, Dylan and Doug!)... favorite moments included:
- Getting to sing in a circle to the audience, using Peter Sellars' brilliant hand gesture staging, which he guided us through emotionally in the rehearsal process so it was never an empty gesture done for the gesture's sake. The text is the Psalms, so - suffering, searching, redemption, praise... Laudate Dominum, as a post-text to the first act, which the men sang superbly - Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex.
- Multiple hugs from Peter Sellars! He is there to rejoice in every step of the process.
- Lounge moments with the ladies, especially on the last day when a veritable who's who of classical music was strolling in. I got to greet E-P with "Maestro!" and an impromptu clap above my head. "Thank you." He nodded and smiled on his way into the happy blur of his last public performance as LA Phil's music director.
- Constant support and thanks from Grant - it's always real and appreciated. Always a pleasure.
- Got to write E-PS a little thank-you note, on a huge foam board card the Singer's Committee put together for E-P, which Leanna presented him at the final intermission.
- Smiling on stage as the orchestra rushed him with hugs and thanks, as the brass and timpani played an impromptu fanfare at the bows.
Photos credit LA times (wish I could embed the slideshow, but here are some great photos), and Leanna Brand.