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3 Hollywood Bowl Concerts – Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 and Verdi: Aida Aida, and Requiem 8/15/13

August 15, 2013

I am writing 3 amazing programs all together today. LA Summer tradition is to attend Hollywood Bowl for “Music under Stars” with beautiful breeze, and possibly with wine.

I attended Tuesday August 6 for Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1. Helene Grimaud was the piano soloist, one of the leading pianists in her generation, and she showed her superb musicianship with LA Phil conducted by James Gaffigan. The program was Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Strauss: Don Juan, and Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1. I really enjoyed this programing. Each piece is so different from others, but the program is crafted well artistically. Brahms concerto is pretty demanding, and her pianistic skill was above it. Brahms wrote to Clara Schumann about the tender slow movement of Concerto no. 1, “I am painting a gentle portrait of you,”. Yes, it was so beautiful.

This week is Verdi/Dudamel/LA Phil, Aida on Sunday 11th, and Requiem on Tuesday and Thursday 13th and 15th. First of all, the casts in Aida were fabulous, Liudmyla Monastyska as Aida, Jorge de Leon as Radames, Michelle DeYoung as Amneris, Eric Owen as Amonastro, and Los Angeles Master Chorale. Monastyska has mastered all of vocal difficulty skillfully, high to low. Her voice is rich and vervetty, and emotionally she was truly Aida. Her rival, Amneris, was sang by DeYoung, and she portorayed Amneris with superb musicianship. Her vocal skill is also fantastic. Under Dudamel’s direction, Verdi’s famous story of ancient Egypt’s ill-fated lovers was transformed into Hollywood Bowl in LA. The opera was performed in a concert version so there was no actual acting or background. It was truthfully a refined production, yet so perfect at outdoor concert under the stars.

Verdi Festival continued to “Requiem” at Hollywood Bowl. I attended on Tuesday 13th. Again soloists were fabulous, Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano, Michelle DeYoung, mezzo, Vittorio Grigolo, tenor, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, bass, and Los Angeles Master Chorale. Verdi wrote this monumental work to honor Alessandro Manzoni for his artistic talent and his moral force. Verdi’s Requiem is very dramatic, expressive, powerful, and lyrical, and Tuesday night’s performance had everything.