Saturday, October 02, 2010

Gil Shaham and the SPCO

It's a bit overdue, but I'm finally getting to a quick post about the wonderful concert I was able to take in on September 16th. My wife and I were lucky enough to get third row seats for this SPCO performance at Ordway.

I'm always expecting something good when I head out the door to a St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. But this time, I have to say, my usual high expectations were greatly surpassed. Violinist Gil Shaham and the orchestra delivered amazing performances of two concertos: Haydn's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in G (H. Vlla: 4 / 1769), and Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor (Op. 64 / 1844-45).

This was my first time to see Shahan in person, and what a treat it was. The Haydn concerto was a delight, and the Mendelssohn concerto was a sensation. The virtuosity demanded by the Mendelssohn piece is almost superhuman, and Shahan delivered, demonstrating a breathtaking combination of prowess and ease. I hope he has recorded these pieces so I can add his performances to my music library.

Gil Shahan would be a wonderful artistic partner for the SPCO. I wonder if that would ever be a possibility at some time in the future. Maybe some Shahan-SPCO collaborative recordings for the Canary Classics label? Sounds like a win/win situation to me.