Archive for July, 2011

The Dude

July 13, 2011

Under the stars of the Hollywood Bowl last evening, July 12, 2011, Gustav Dudamel out did even himself. A man who has been called a “magnetic enthusiasm for music” should be deemed a man of many hands, fascinations, gestures, drama, tenderness. And of course great hair.
Dudamel’s hands were, quite frankly, one of those seminal moments you will carry with you. As in the film “Ghost,” when Patrick Swayze’s character placed his hands over those of the Demi Moore character as they pressed and drew up the fine potters wheel clay.
Dudamel’s hands evoke everything and nothing. Every chord he beckons from his musicians lips and tongues and bodies and beings into the openness under the dome of the Bowl are our gift for coming this eve.
This is only the Dude’s second season directing the Bowl’s Philharmonic. To the horror of music fans alike, I must say that while the lovely music was mesmerizing and the Steinway piano virtuoso Lang Lang accompaniment was nicely although athletically delivered, it made no difference to the evening’s delight. One could have been deaf and still been mesmerized watching the minute, sometimes large, huge, exhonerific, tremulous, cat pawwing, humble, gloriosity of Dudamel’s hands. Particularly the left. In the right he holds his baton. In the left, he holds the world.
My readers would be disappointed if I did not tell you what we heard and were sent home with musically: The slinky Lauren Bacall-like sultriness of Borodin’s symphonic pictures. The Dude follows with Lang Lang, a fixture on the world’s pianist scene, for Prokofiev’s moody Piano Concerto No. 3 concerto. Then, the Dude submerges us all under the wide Bowl of Mussorgsky. Last night was something of a Scherherazade evening of thrilling sultriness.