Unsophisticated Art Review : Ian Bostridge & Julius Drake

Ian BostridgeOur second show of the performing arts series was tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Julius Drake performing Shubert pieces. I can’t decide if I would have liked it better if the singing was in English or not. Being in German, it was sort of like a fancy, solo Gregorian chant to me. Nonetheless, I found it captivating. Between the piano and the singing, there was always something of interest to focus on, and sometimes the combination seemed to put me into some sort of trance.

The program included printed lyrics, both in German and English. I didn’t bother trying to follow along, but most people did. At least they tried to. At one point, there was the sound of a few listeners turning the page of the lyrics sheet. Then a few seconds later, there was a much louder sound of many listeners turning the page. I figure the late turners must have lost their places and took a cue from the early turners. Then again, maybe the early turners were just the quick readers.

Bonnie didn’t enjoy the performance as much as I did (which wasn’t a whole lot), so we left at intermission. Other notes: Bostridge was very pale in the lighting and the way he clutched at the piano for support, you wondered if he was going to feint. He looked startled when rain could be heard as a thunderstorm passed — you could see him look to the piano in wonder until Drake quietly indicated that the sound was just the rain and that it was OK to continue. It must have sounded louder on stage.

Not sure what the clapping protocol is for these kinds of performances. For a while, no one clapped during the brief lulls between pieces, but later they seemed to clap more readily. Maybe the rest of the audience didn’t have a clue either.

Celebrity sighting: Reid Conrad

Posted in Art

3 thoughts on “Unsophisticated Art Review : Ian Bostridge & Julius Drake

  1. Sorry Ron, I know you mean well, but this “review” of yours makes you come off as a real hay seed.

    It’s great that you decided to take in a “show” but maybe you would enjoy it and profit from it alittle bit more if you’d done even the smallest amount of preparation before hand. This performance is not entertainment, it’s art. It requires some effort on the part of the listener. That effort is well repaid, trust me.

  2. Hey “Ron” (xan),

    My web dictionary defines unsophisticated as “Awkwardly simple and provincial” and defines Hayseed as “Not interested in culture” (BTW.. I had never heard the term before, and had to look it up.. I also noticed that there is no web domain with that name, which I found amazing)

    So it sounds like “dave” (who I’m sure has never debugged a line of code, or had front row tickets to a Led Zepplin concert), is actually giving you more credit than you are giving yourself..

    Maybe you should change your review title to “Hayseed Art Review”..

    – bill

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