An evening to remember

I just returned home from an evening of Russian music in Seattle - Pletnev and Russian National Orchestra performing Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. The program began with Rachmaninoff Vocalise, then Piano Concerto #3 (Alexander Mogilevsky on piano) and Tchaikovsky Suite 3 Op 55. It was an evening to remember, with several noteworthy events. The first thing I observed compared to an ordinary night at Seattle Symphony was the very large number of Russians in the crowd. How can you tell? The Russian men wear black leather jackets, like a uniform. Seattle is known for its large Scandinavian population. Who knew there were so many Russians in Seattle? Well they turned out in large numbers in a strong display of cultural unity. The Russian Orchestra also brought to the performance a seriousness and attitude at a very high level, compared to the local symphony. The seriousness was clear to see in their facial expressions, and the attitude was easy to hear in their musicianship. I've never heard Benaroya Hall pressurized with sound like this evening. The power behind the music was magneficent and physical. This is the first live performance of Vocalise for me. It is so achingly beautiful and emotional. (Does anyone recommend a noteworthy recording of this?) Mogilevsky is a talented Russian pianist - Argerich included him with a small number of promising young pianists she promoted. The Rach Piano Concerto is one of my favorites. Argerich stands out, as does Horowitz and Barbirolli in 1940 (this one is spectacular - very fast and full of energy). Mogilevsky brings a fresh perspective, full of power. I wasn't very familiar with the final piece by Tchaikovsky. But again, full of energy, the horns at the finale filling the hall. At the end, nobody left the hall. Everyone stood and applauded. Usually, people rush for the doors. This was the longest ovation I recall at Benaroya Hall. On the other hand, the Seattle audience is easily impressed compared to the East Coast... After 4 curtain calls, Pletnev ended the evening with an encore performance of more Tchaikovsky. Wow!

It's been a pretty good year for classical music in Seattle. The other noteworthy performance for me this year had to be Itzak Perhman conducting Mozart.
When I lived in larger cities I attended a few symphonic concerts here and there, largely taking them for granted. You are lucky indeed to be able to hear and see such performances!
"The Russian men wear black leather jackets, like a uniform."

This is pretty funny.
Mcfarland - what was really striking to me was the level of musicianship they brought to the performance. I listen to this music at home, but the live experience adds its own twist.

Audphile1 - I know it may not be PC to remark about their attire. But, man it makes them easy to spot!
Well written! I wish I could have been there. There is nothing that trumps quaility and it's ever-lasting.
Hey....this is our national uniform man!!!!

By the way, I just attended Patricia Barber concert in Carnegie Hall last week. I haven't thought about it before, but now since you mentioned it, I think you're right. The only person in a black leather jacket there was me. There were no more Russians. The rest of the people wore these beautiful, multi-color(some of them were color-faded already) jackets that are always on sale at Sears.

But, the concert was awesome...
I attended more than my share of the russians from Rimssky-Korsakav to Stravinsky with Solenean and the L.A. phil before they moved to the Disney Center and the tickets became to pricey.
Yes it is very moving when you see a great performance,when the entire Orchestra is functioning as one. Thanks for the observation it was very insightful.