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That was such an amazing show; the phrasing, the intonation, the soft quiet bits and the silence was masterful. The music was just powerful and uplifting, in a low building sort of way. During the last piece (Grieg, Sonata No.3 for Violin and Piano in C Minor, Op. 45) before the encores, I caught myself not believeing it was almost over. The time just flew.

The two performers were so complimentary to each other, neither upstaging the otyher, but a beautiful partnership of sound, motion, and punctuated silences.

Joshua Bell can make more sounds and intonations fly out of a violin than I thought was possibly; and Jeremy Denk was right there with him as a counterplay/counterpart. Absolutely amazing show. If you ever get a chance to see either Joshua Bell or Jeremy Denk in concert, do so.

other details about the night )

Värttinä

Jan. 21st, 2007 12:27 pm
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Friday night, [livejournal.com profile] gaiaturtle and I went to see Värttinä** at the Somerville theater. It was an absolutely amazing show. The three singers created great harmonizes and counter points, while moving about and having good stage presence. The 6 musicians (primarily drums, guitar, electric cello, saxophone, fiddle, and accordian) were wonderful and had a great interactive dynamic with the singers as they sang, twirled, etc.

I had been a huge fan of Värttinä about 8 years ago, but had lost track of them as time passed, and other musical distractions intruded. I really had no idea they ever toured the US until I saw the sign advertising this show. I'm wicked glad I did.

The concert with its haunting melodies reminded me of why I was utterly obsessed with this band. I picked up their newest CD and I'm going to dig out their older CDs from my collection. I also updated my iPod so the most recent album is now on it. ;)

The concert reminded me of something else as well; simply how much I love live music. There's nothing quite like a good fiddle tune, or an audience singing and moving along to a beat. I've missed going to shows. I haven't gone to as many since I moved out of the valley (aka Folk Music Central).

One of the best shows/festivals I used to go to each year is the Falconridge Folk Festival. It's 3-4 days of good folk music, dancing, 2-3 musical stages, and camping (this last part is optional). I decided last night that I really want to go again this year. I'd love to get a group together to go and camp. If you're interested, drop me a line. It's ages out (end of July) but I figured I'd put the idea out to the universe. (and yes I know it's near the start of Pennsic, with the date shift this year).


**If you're wondering about Värttinä's music, it's modernized Finish folk music sung in one of the Finnish dialects. If you're big LOTR/musical fans, you may have heard of them more recently because Värttinä was invited to compose some of the music for the The Lord of the Rings musical. They're a great band, and I highly recommend checking them out. I also think they make great background soundtrack music and could see using bits of their stuff in larps and the like.
redfishie: (Default)
The concert last night of Elvis Costello with Emmy Lou Harris was amazing. Major thanks to [livejournal.com profile] farwing for organizing going to the show.

I hadn't heard a lot of either's more recent music, but most of it kicked ass. I've also always had mixed feelings about Elvis Costello's voice. It's incredibly robust but I caught a performance of his on-air at one point where it was strained and I didn't know how good he'd be live. He actually sounds much better live than on most of his recordings and I think the live show tipped me over the scale into liking some of his stuff I was only iffy about previously.

He did a bunch of his old classics, including Watching the Detectives, What's so Funny about Peace Love and Understanding, Pump It Up, and this cool medley which included Allison, which is the song that initially really hooked me into Elvis' stuff and still one of my favorites.

Emmy Lou Harris was a solid and wonderful performer. I was really not incredibly familiar with her or her voice which has a strained sort of whispy southern quality to it. She and Elvis blended beautifully together, the distincitve traits of each voice complementing the other and adding to it, to the point that I think I perferred their duets to anything else. She did a brief bout of alone time on the stage, and I am going to have to look up some more of her music. They sang a whole slew of songs together, including a Dead cover, which made farwing's father rather happy.

They did a cover of Master's Bouquet (which seems to be a Hank Williams Sr. and Kitty Wells song) that was just amazing. They kept doing song after song, long after the time I thought an encore was over.

Also as [livejournal.com profile] farwing pointed out "Elvis added a line to "Scarlet Tide," which is already a fairly powerful ant-war song: "Admit you lied and bring the boys back home" and the entire place broke out in applause."

A really just an amazing concert. The way the voices blended, the guitar work, the backup performers (all really talented and solid), the quality of the singing, was excellent. I left being willing to see this same show agaim, wanting to see it again. They played a good 3 hours, without an opening band, with no intermission.

I totally Elvis Costello.

The venue was the Bank of America Pavilion and there was a nice breeze coming off of the water last night. After the concert, We walked back towards South Station, eschewing the earlier T stops for the beautiful night air.

Edit: Just figured out thet Elvis also did another Hank Williams Sr. song (Why Don't You Love Me Like You Used to Do?).

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