Caught in the Live Stream

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The Saturday night subscription concerts of the St. Louis Symphony are broadcast live over St. Louis Public Radio and streamed live via its website. There’s great value to this, to both the orchestra and to its fans. And some of those values are as intimate as a father being able to hear his son’s performance from far away. Felipe Izcaray, father of guest conductor Carlos Izcaray, posted this on the St. Louis Symphony Facebook page following Saturday night’s performance:

“Wonderful performance, and superb broadcasting! I am truly thankful for the opportunity to listen with such fidelity to this concert conducted by my son Carlos Izcaray with great soloists, choirs and that beautiful sound machine that is the St. Louis SO. Carmina Burana, a work I adore and have conducted many times, came through with all its force, its sweetness and its rhythmic variety. From Venezuela, a satisfied listener and proud father!”

You have a chance to catch the final live performance at Powell Hall Sunday afternoon. It’s heartily recommended from a knowledgeable listener in Venezuela.

Carmina burana – Chorus =

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I knew the rehearsal schedule for Tuesday morning: first Carmina burana, without chorus; then Steve Reich’s The Four Sections.

But when the music began to come through the office speakers, I immediately took notice. “Is this the Steve Reich piece?” Repetition, pulsation, interlocking rhythmic and harmonic patterns, inventive use of percussion.

Nope. Carmina burana. Take away the chorus and you have American minimalism.

I shared this with Tom Stubbs, who is playing marimba in The Four Sections, while we were shooting an interview for the video blog. He looked at me for a full beat. “I’m speechless,” he said.