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Subject: Gustavo Dudamel conducts Haydn's The Creation at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
From: James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:38:42 -0800
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It's rare these days for an old codger like me to have a first anything
when it comes to classical music performance and yet I had three of them
last night: Our first visit to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, our first time
hearing the LA Philharmonic without amplification (as it was at the
Hollywood Bowl) and our first time hearing Haydn's magnificent masterwork
The Creation in person.

The Creation was set to both English and German texts. The English text was
used last night.

First things first, the performance:  Well it was simply sensational, the
orchestra played gloriously and Dudamel led a graceful and powerful playing
of The Creation. He drew out lovely performances from the three soloists:
soprano Rachele Gilmore, tenor James Guerrero, baritone Johannes Kimmler.
Gilmore impressed me with a beautiful limpid tone (reminding me of Barbara
Bonney on my favorite Creation recording). Guerrero sang the great tenor
aria "In Native Worth" superbly. (IMHO, this sublime aria rivals anything
by any composer active in The Age of Enlightenment and that applies in fact
to the entire The Creation). Last but not least, the excellent Los Angeles
Master Chorale shone in Haydn's mighty choruses.

There was a visual light display in the hall by Alberto Arvelo the
filmmaker which we felt added to the occasion. It worked in  the various
spaces surprisingly well.

The spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall is easily the finest modern
concert hall we've experienced (even, IMHO, besting the famed Berliner
Philharmonie). We sat in the second to last row in the balcony and the
sound was full and rich, the articulation of instruments and soloists was
clear and sounded perfectly balanced. We plan to sit in different locations
including behind the orchestra in future trips and will report. The merits
of the Walt Disney Concert Hall are well documented and hardly new news,
but it was a thrilling new experience for us!

As happens so often in Los Angeles, we were once again struck by how
friendly and down to earth the staff was last night (this kind of
experience is repeated again and again if we visit the loftiest or the
humblest restaurant, gallery, theater, etc, etc, LA is usually super
friendly and mellow - except when it comes to manic driving!).

Thus did our subscription series to the LA Philharmonic get off to a
roaring start! Next week we see Handel's Messiah there.

James Camner

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