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Subject: Gustavo Dudamel conducts an all-Wagner concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
From: James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:59:05 -0700
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The Hollywood Bowl with the picturesque Hollywood Hills behind it makes a
spectacular setting for an LA evening Wagner concert. There were 5000+
enjoying the perfect weather - about 68 degrees with little humidity and no
mosquitoes. There was not an elderly crowd by any means, we were surrounded
by younger couples - is Wagner at the Bowl a hip date night for
20-somethings in LA?

After a picnic at the top of the Bowl we settled into our seats for a
program of symphonic and choral excerpts from Tannhauser, Die
Meistersinger, Lohengrin, Der Fliegende Hollander and Die Walkure.

This was our first experience with Gustavo Dudamel's Wagner. If I were to
compare him to a recent Wagner conductor it would be Solti and Dudamel's
exciting conducting of the Fliegende Hollender overture and choruses was on
the same level as Solti's Chicago Symphony recording of the complete opera
(my favorite), but in other excerpts he reminds me most of Bruno Walter..
[Earlier this season at Disney Hall, Dudamel conducted a Schubert Great
Symphony only the second performance I've heard live that could touch
Walter's several magisterial recordings]. I don't know if Dudamel has ever
conducted a complete Wagner opera, but if he does, I don't doubt that he
will be as good as anyone around today and probably better...

The Los Angeles Philharmonic played magnificently and the Los Angeles
Master Choral was superb. Altogether a great evening of Wagner and so much
easier to get to than Bayreuth!

As we rode to and from the concert on our bus from Culver City (it is an
hour plus ride in the traffic)  people young and old chattered non stop
about LA's conductor. Folks, people love Gustavo Dudamel in LA, I believe
the last time a symphonic conductor in the US was the toast of his town on
this level was Leonard Bernstein in New York.

James Camner

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