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Nyx by Esa-Pekka Salonen and LA Phil, and Lutoslawski, Tchaikovsky and Schumann 12/8/12

December 8, 2012

I attended the dress rehearsal for LA Phil’s concert with a conductor laureate, Essa-Pekka Salonen. The program includes Salonen’s west coast premiere of Nyx, Robert Schumann’s very special and affectionate piano concerto, Lutoslawski’s Les espaces du sommel, and Tchaikovski’s Francesca da Rimmi. First of all, I enjoyed Tchaikovsky. It shows the composer’s forte which he weaves stories into his music, and makes it so dramatic with beautiful tunes. His tunes are infectious. We naturally come out of the hall singing his tunes! Nyx is very imaginative and colorful. In the composer’s program note, Salonen describes “Nyx is a shadowy figure in Greek mythology”. The ensemble between the conductor/composer and the orchestra was extraordinary. It is so wonderful to see that they still have a strong relationship together. I heard from the musician in the orchestra that Salonen described his passion in Lutoslawski’s music. In Salonen’s 2 weeks residency in LA,  LA Phil plays several works by Lutoslawski. Les espaces du sommeil was composed upon the request from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Actually Fischer-Dieskau premiered this work with Lutoslawski on the podium with Berlin Philharmonic in 1978. Lutoslawski uses beautiful poems by Robert Desnos, and the baritone voice leads the piece. Gerald Finley sings this time with LA Phil, and he does an amazing job bringing an emotion to the audience.