“What Makes It Great?” Series

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Reviews
Tags: ,

DSCF2342Yesterday, we were in our nation’s capital after dark. We saw lots of lights, the Washington and Lincoln Monuments, gnarly trunks of cherry blossom trees, the Christmas tree alight, and lastly, a concert at the Smithsonian which was our actual destination.

We went to a concert at the Baird Auditorium at the National Museum of Natural History. It was part of a series called “What Makes It Great?” with Rob Kapilow and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra. They performed Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

When we opened our programs, we saw the following words and reacted with horror:

“An hour-long discussion and demonstration of the piece will be followed by a 10-minute intermission, a performance of the piece in full, and a question-and-answer session.”

We thought, “You are kidding! An hour of talking?!?”

Rob Kapilow, though, was so energetic and entertaining, that we all actually enjoyed the hour before intermission very much. What we had envisioned as a dry talk about the composition like what is usually found in the notes of a classical music concert, was actually an engaging talk that included interesting cultural anecdotes about the composer and the history of his work. In addition, lest anyone get bored, Rob included audience participation – we were clapping out some of the rhythms of the music as the orchestra played – it was fun! Dink thought it all ruined the performance for him somewhat, though, because he found that he was listening to the music in a way that he didn’t want to; he was using his brain too much 😀

If you have never heard of this series or of Rob Kapilow and you have a chance in the future to attend one of these concerts, we strongly recommend that you give it a try. After all, we were horrified, but wound up loving it. Rob Kapilow is a composer and apparently has several CDs out, that we think are of his “What Makes It Great” performances.

If you live near Washington, DC, there is another concert on March 29, 2015 with the Peabody Chamber Orchestra performing Mozart’s Symphony No 40 with Mr. Kapilow again.

  1. Cynthia says:

    Sounds great! I bet Washington was beautiful for the holidays

    • Despite people’s disgust at times with our federal government, Washington, DC, the place, is a great and beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. It is very nice for the holidays and we are actually trying to plan a longer trip over our break, even though it isn’t anything like the mountains we usually love to go to.

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