LA Phil Live With Gustavo Dudamel

a kate west review
Los Angeles Philharmonic and
Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
John Lithgow, host

MAHLER: Symphony No. 8

LIVE from Caracas, Venezuela
Sat FEB 18, 2012 5PM ET / 4PM CT / 3PM MT / 2PM PT
US Encore Broadcast on February 29
Get tickets:
or check your local movie theater listings

Ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Venezuelan-born Gustavo Dudamel took the Los Angeles Philharmonic all the way to South America to perform with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. He recreated his fabulous sold out performance in Los Angeles, using multiple choirs and soloists in Mahler’s 8th, “Symphony of a Thousand”. More than 1,000 musicians performed on stage in Caracas, Venezuela, all telecast live at a movie theater near you. That's more than he wrangled in California.

Just so you know, it's important to pick a movie theater with an excellent sound system if you want that same I-feel-like-I'm-there feeling you get with the New York Met Live HD operas. Today was a mediocre theater (everything else was sold out) and some of the patrons grumbled a bit. You had to close your eyes to really soak in the fact that so many voices were harmonizing together to tell a story of heaven. Yet there are some fun behind-the-scenes looks with Host John Lithgow, to set your expectations on just what a great accomplishment this is for Dudamel. So taking all that into consideration, open your ears (and heart) and let the music transform and transport you.

Background: The innovative conductor wanted to take on the "Mahler Project" which meant performing all the composer's symphonies, recruiting two orchestras and several choirs to help achieve this stunning feat. Since they were unable to fit everyone in their home turf at the Walt Disney Hall downtown, voices and instruments were moved to the Shrine Auditorium where they wowed audiences and brought the house down. Local musicians then got to adventure on to the next continent, while sharing the simulcast with the rest of us. The voices are sublime, especially the soloists Anna Larsson, Klara Ek, Alexander Vinogradov, Brian Mulligan, Burkhard Fritz, Charlotte Hellekant, Julianna di Giacomo, Kiera Duffy and Manuela Uhl. Dudamel also introduces us to "El Sistema" which brings music to youth of all ages and promotes a message of peace and unity.

In two parts, Symphony No. 8 alternates between the dramatic and the poignant. If you are lucky enough to hear all the Symphonies, be sure to carry that memory with you always. And if you can only do one, make it this one, the Symphony that carries a thousand voices, invoking chills and tears in spectators and inspiring creativity in our souls. Really, words will not do, when the music speaks for itself. Kudos LA Phil and Dudamel. Well done!

No comments: