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Beethoven violin concerto in Cleveland, May 1996

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(@odalisque)
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I lived in Akron, Ohio in the 1990s, and frequently made the drive north to take advantage of last minute, deeply discounted "student rush" tickets for the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. William Preucil had been named concertmaster of the orchestra in 1995, and this was one of his first appearances as soloist since assuming the post. Of course I had to attend - I mean Christoph von Dohnanyi, Severance Hall, the Beethoven concerto, and the Cleveland Orchestra, plus the excitement of a new concertmaster? It was a magical combination on paper, but I had no idea what I was about to experience.

I took my seat in the center of the front row (where the student rush seats were located). Frankly the rest of the program was unmemorable; I can't find any record of the program online and it really doesn't bother me. I was there to see Preucil play the Beethoven! He strode onstage of course with supreme confidence, and what happened next was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that becomes an integral part of your being: From the first note to the last, not only was the performance flawless and emotionally possessing, it achieved what was already in my mind as the "perfect" and "ideal" Beethoven violin concerto performance; The tone, accents, articulation, phrasing, lyrical line, and virtuosic passages, all were as I'd always imagined a performance of that work to be. Completely captured by every note, I was gripped, and, when it was over, I sat stunned for a few minutes. Was it a dream? No, it was the most perfect performance I'd ever attended. Ask any member of the orchestra, even Preucil himself, and they'd probably say it went pretty well, even very well. For me, I was utterly transported.

I've seen many other major artists perform live, up close, both in intimate recital and with a full symphony orchestra, but no concert I've attended since achieved the level of impact as that one did. The alchemy that resulted that evening from the combination of soloist, orchestra, conductor, hall, and work tunneled its way, not only into my memory, but into my central nervous system, so much that, when I recall the memory of that concert, my heart rate increases and I get gooseflesh, just as if I was sitting front and center at Severance and reliving it all over again.


   
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(@capriccio)
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You describe this experience so beautifully, Odalisque. I love those performances that raise goosebumps on my arms or bring tears to my eyes. 


   
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(@cfitzsimmons)
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Posted by: @odalisque

I lived in Akron, Ohio in the 1990s, and frequently made the drive north to take advantage of last minute, deeply discounted "student rush" tickets for the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. William Preucil had been named concertmaster of the orchestra in 1995, and this was one of his first appearances as soloist since assuming the post. Of course I had to attend - I mean Christoph von Dohnanyi, Severance Hall, the Beethoven concerto, and the Cleveland Orchestra, plus the excitement of a new concertmaster? It was a magical combination on paper, but I had no idea what I was about to experience.

I took my seat in the center of the front row (where the student rush seats were located). Frankly the rest of the program was unmemorable; I can't find any record of the program online and it really doesn't bother me. I was there to see Preucil play the Beethoven! He strode onstage of course with supreme confidence, and what happened next was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that becomes an integral part of your being: From the first note to the last, not only was the performance flawless and emotionally possessing, it achieved what was already in my mind as the "perfect" and "ideal" Beethoven violin concerto performance; The tone, accents, articulation, phrasing, lyrical line, and virtuosic passages, all were as I'd always imagined a performance of that work to be. Completely captured by every note, I was gripped, and, when it was over, I sat stunned for a few minutes. Was it a dream? No, it was the most perfect performance I'd ever attended. Ask any member of the orchestra, even Preucil himself, and they'd probably say it went pretty well, even very well. For me, I was utterly transported.

I've seen many other major artists perform live, up close, both in intimate recital and with a full symphony orchestra, but no concert I've attended since achieved the level of impact as that one did. The alchemy that resulted that evening from the combination of soloist, orchestra, conductor, hall, and work tunneled its way, not only into my memory, but into my central nervous system, so much that, when I recall the memory of that concert, my heart rate increases and I get gooseflesh, just as if I was sitting front and center at Severance and reliving it all over again.

 


   
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(@cfitzsimmons)
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Beautiful description. The experience has stayed with you a long time!


   
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