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Monday, December 12, 2005

100th Anniversary Concert 

My synagogue, Washington Hebrew Congregation, puts on a periodic concert series. Last night, in celebration of the congregation Sisterhood's 100th anniversary, they had Itzhak Perlman perform, so of course I had to go. I was busy listening, so I didn't take many notes, but here were my impressions.

Note: there was no program - he just announced what he was going to play as he went along - so I'm not entirely sure the names I heard were actually what he played.

He began with a sonata in four movements, composed by Gabriel Fauré. The first and fourth movements were pretty, but I must admit they didn't grab me. The second movement, andante, is gorgeous, with lingering notes and all kinds of detail. The third, allegro, is playful and sweet, with played with real flourish. Perlman seemed to enjoy these two most, which may be why I did too.

Next, he played "3 American Pieces," by Lukas Foss, a fun series laced with Americana and folk sounds.

He then played one of his signature pieces, the theme from Schindler's List. Now, this is a beautiful piece to begin with, and Perlman played with a such passion that it shined immensely.

For his encore, Perlman played three pieces by Fritz Kreisler - Liebesfreud, Glouck(?), and Tambuichi-wa(?), each of which was warm and delicious.

Perlman is a fantastic performer. Aside from his gorgeous playing, he is clearly having fun, and his little jokes between pieces added immensely to the show.

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