2009: concerts of the year

Welcome to the end of the decade. Ooof. Regardless, here are the best (out of so many good ones!) concerts of 2009. The decade can take care of itself.

Beethoven – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op.61
My dislike for Beethoven (snigger) is a well known thing, as is my dislike for the mix issues inherent in concertos. With that said, yowza! It is apparently possible to, by sheer force of will, drag music from two hundred years ago into the present and make it feel current, urgent, personal, and vital.

Messiaen – Vignt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus
Ever heard someone play piano for two hours and fifteen minutes? I thought I was going to die by the end of this piece – I can only imagine how the player (one Alastair Edmonstone, who apparently TOURS the damn thing) must have felt. Parts are ethereal, lush, and gorgeous, parts are jackhammer brutal, just about all of it is incredible.

Sonic Lab – Spring 2009
A few choice quotes from the program notes here: “telepathic improvisation”, “Aligning himself with post-war Dada”, “to re-invent the string quartet”. Look out.

Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
LaSam put this on during New Currents in the spring, and it was just utterly, utterly beautiful. Simple as that.

Honorable mentions of the highest order to: Video Games Live, Yan Li’s LEFT, Sonic Chamber Singers, Daniel Biro’s vocal concert, Andrea Young’s , LaSam’s other shows, the JACK quartet concert, Hollas Longton’s impossible graduating recital, and the recent Liszt Friday music apocalypse. Serious business