Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nicholas Daniel at the Rudolfinum

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!


Anonymous said...

I can't make comments like you but I know what I like. This carried me to where I want to be when listening.

Julia said...

Hi Ellena, thanks for commenting!
I really wish there were a recording of the MacMillan piece. It was so transfixing, I had to remind myself to breath when I was listening to it.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

A few years ago I had a similar experience--this guy played a clarinet so beautifully. Brilliantly. I never knew it could sound that way before that night!

Rouchswalwe said...

Oh Julia! Thank you for this.