· Prokofiev : Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25 (“Classical”) (1917)
· Prokofiev : Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 (1917-21)
· Encore – Chopin : Etude, Op. 10, No 3
· Brahms : Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 (1877)
· Encore : Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians” from The Bartered Bride
Did you know Lang Lang has his own shoe? Of the facts from the talk at the Arts and Eats Program, that was probably the most interesting one! Never mind that all of the members of the orchestra are all 26 years old or younger (they’re all virtuosos)…a shoe with his picture and his name in Chinese on it. Of course, the first thing I did when I returned to my room was to google it.
Our seats were in the very last row of the middle of the mezzanine section. While these seats are usually pretty cheap, they turned out to be perfect for my friend and me. The person in front of us was at least 6.5 feet tall and if we were sitting down, we would not be able to see anything! We ended up letting the seat fold up and then sit on top of that. The Arts and Eats program turned out to be a pretty good deal after all!
I found the selection of pieces to be very intriguing. The first Prokofiev piece took me by surprise and was much more “cheerful” than I expected. To be honest, I was expecting a loud crash of the symbols, dissonant chords played by the strings and brass, topped off by a smattering of the drums and timpani. Instead, the symphony sounded more reminiscent of a classical symphony, but with a little more freedom and less restriction of the form. The second piece, the piano concerto with Lang Lang had more of modern music that I was expecting. The piece was not hard to listen to though, since the piano melody helped relieve some of the tension felt in the notes played by the brass and strings section.
By the last piece, a lot of the audience was gone. I had a vague impression that the majority of the Asians who had tickets (I noticed there was a larger percentage of Asians at this concert than in previous classical music concerts) were gone. Lang Lang was also done playing. I loved the Brahms symphony though. It turned out to be a very characteristically “orchestral” piece. And throughout, I was sure I heard snippets of Brahms’ famous “Lullaby,” creating the perfect ending to a long day.