We were lucky enough to be invited by our neighbor, Linda Homer, to the Hollywood Bowl tonight for a picnic and then a whole evening of Beethoven performed by the LA Phil. Linda had three extra tickets so we invited our daughter Rachael to join us, as well. The seats were close to the front and wonderful. We could see and hear everything very well.
We heard the Egmont Overture, then the Violin Concerto in D major. The soloist for the concerto was Martin Chalifour, the Principal Concertmaster for the LA Phil. It was a treat to hear Chalifour as a soloist since he is usually seen performing his duties as first violinist for the Phil. He is a virtuoso; very impressive.
After the intermission we heard Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, “Pastoral.” This was absolutely lovely to hear in person since I have heard this piece many times in my life on recordings. The conductor for the evening was Bramwell Tovey, and he described the Pastoral piece in detail before the orchestra played it, pointing out specifics such as the various examples of birdsong we would hear. Tovey was articulate, funny, passionate and poignant, pointing out the irony that this symphony depicts nature so perfectly yet Beethoven never heard it performed since he was profoundly deaf by the time he wrote it. Tovey reminded the audience that we all are very lucky to have the opportunity to still enjoy such beauty two hundred years later, particularly given the current troubles in our world.
Thank you, Linda Homer, for a lovely evening at the Hollywood Bowl. Summer is not summer without the Bowl. Our city is so fortunate to have such a fine Philharmonic orchestra. Hooray that LA continues to support these unbelievably talented musicians.
What a wonderful evening.
Picnic time before the performance
Ray, Linda and Rachael, my fellow concert goers.