Quickie: National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, December 3, 2009

I went to the National Symphony Orchestra’s concert under guest conductor Andrew Litton tonight, but because I need to go to my job that is not writing about classical music tomorrow, I cannot review it in full right now. Meanwhile, you may be wondering whether to skip work on Friday to go to the afternoon show, or whether to wander over to the KenCen Saturday eve for the final rendition of this program. So here’s a quick summary:

  1. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snow Maiden Suite: Piquant but direly under-rehearsed. If they can fix it for Friday and Saturday, it is fun music to listen to.
  2. Jennifer Higdon’s world-premiere piano concerto with Yuja Wang as soloist: Repetitive, unidiomatic for the instrument, harmonically banal. A major disappointment from a major American composer.
  3. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 1 (“Winter Daydreams”): Well-played, big-boned Romantic fun. Not great music but extremely entertaining in this performance.

More complete thoughts coming tomorrow.

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