Every now and then I'll leave a concert floating on air because of a performance. Last night was one of those times. I felt bubbly all the way from the Rudolfinum, to the metro, to our short walk home, excited by what we'd heard.
The Czech Philharmonic opened with Kodaly's Dances of Galanta, and I thought we'd just listened to the best piece of the evening. Then Nicholas Daniel began to play James MacMillan's oboe concerto, and I realized I was wrong.
If you ever have the chance to hear Daniel play the oboe, grab it. He's a virtuoso with remarkable technique, but he's also a powerful performer; I could read the composer's notes from his expressions. And the music - if modern classical music is going to survive and thrive, it will be because of composers such as MacMillan writing for performers such as Daniel.
Unfortunately, the oboe concerto doesn't seem to be recorded anywhere, so I can't link to it, but as an encore, Nicholas Daniel played "Arethusa" from Britten's Metamorphoses after Ovid, and I did find its recording. The setting in the video may be slightly less formal than the Rudolfinum!
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