Monday, November 26, 2007

rock orchestra?

Last week a friend sent out an invitation for a performance by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I'd never heard of them before, but her description of a "rock orchestra" with a "laser light show" was intriguing enough that in the end I decided to go, even though the concert was the night before Thanksgiving, and I had a 9am flight to catch the next morning.

As it turns out, I did enjoy the show, and I'm glad I went, but I think I'm picky when it comes to music. The first half of the performance was Christmas-themed, and I liked most of the songs (especially the Nutcracker bits), but I didn't like the way they were strung together tenuously with a fairly boring narrative. I winced a couple of times when I felt that a particular vocalist was straining his voice, and I literally put on sunglasses at one point because the flashing lights were starting to hurt my eyes.

I enjoyed the second half more; there was an interesting piece based on Canon in D, and I liked their rendition of Mozart's Requiem. However, another of my complaints was that the woman singing Papagena's role in a Magic Flute-inspired piece was occasionally off-key. Although, she was also running up and down the aisles in high heels while singing, so I guess I should cut her a little slack. Also, one of the pianists was quite good, but the other was noticeably less proficient.

Incidentally, I'm going to the see the San Francisco Symphony perform Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique in a week and a half, which should make for a interesting comparison.

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