Best Classical Concert You've Ever Attended
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Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra (Tonu Kalljuste, conductor)
Two works on the program:
Vivaldi: "Beatus Vir"
Pärt: "Te Deum"
I don't even really like baroque music, but they did such a beautiful job of performing it that I bought the CD. Their performance of fellow Estonian Arvo Pärt's work was simply breathtaking. The crowd sat in stunned silence for what must've been a minute afterwards before exploding into rapturous applause.
It was so heartfelt and moving, we had to walk for about a half hour afterward to come down from the emotional high.
As it happens, I would round out my top 3 concerts with two performances of Arvo Part's music. The first was the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir singing the whole of his "Kanon Pokajanen", and the second was the Hilliard Ensemble singing his "Miserere". Both concerts were magnificently moving.
The two most delightful, light-hearted classical concerts I've attended were, first, the Huelgas Ensemble under Paul van Nevel singing a program of avant-garde late medieval works, full of peculiar and playful effects, and second, Ensemble Clement Janequin singing a program of bawdy (and highly virtuosic) French Renaissance chansons. Incredible.
Claudio Abbado conducting the La Scala of Milan in a performance of the Verdi Requiem in the ancient theatre of Epidaurus on the Peloponnese in Greece ... one summer's evening in the '80s. That particular theatre is considered the most perfectly preserved architectural structure from ancient Greece. It can accommodate 15,000 souls and the acoustics are so perfect that each one can hear a stage whisper.
I did once go to see Julian Lloyd Webber - an Elgar piece as I recall.
I have been a regular at the annual New Year`s Eve concert by Viva (formerly The East of England Orchestra) in Nott`m UK. We can`t get this year, the first one I`ve missed for years but it was always enjoyable.
Another highlight was the Keith Jarrett Trio in the Royal Festival Hall in London 2000. I flew all the way back from Taiwan to attend this concert, and I was completely overcome with weeping at the end of it.
The Keith Jarrett Trio are, of course, the Holy Trinity of jazz. Three in one.
A close second is Earl Wild playing a recital at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 1977/8. An incredible experience that unfortunately I wasn't knowledgeable enough at the time to fully appreciate.
(Edited for spelling)
It sounds a little pretentious to me today, but I later described the music to a friend at the time as, “musical lace.”
A very close second was Glenn Gould’s 1964 concert, also at Orchestra Hall, which I got to go to after a friend with piano series season tickets was cancelled out by his date (thank you, whoever you were!).
To this day, his original recording of the Goldberg Variations is my favorite single classical music recording. It also must be a 50% pick of folks in classical music in “ten for a desert island” type surveys.
P.S. #11 "Jordi Savall" - Yes!
An unexpected exception was the performance of Mahler's 6th symphony, which I believe was actually my last concert attendance before moving away. Utterly devastating, in every sense this symphony is meant to be.
(I later picked up Jansons' recording of this with the LSO, but he seemed to have returned to his old wet-towel self.)