Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Viva el Dude Dudamel!

Greetings from Caracas, Venezuela, where yours truly is momentarily turned from a Big Enchilada into a Humble Arepa, since she is about to shoot her first TV commercial as a director tomorrow, if all goes according to plan.
But in an interesting case of synchronicity, one day before our trip, we had the opportunity to witness Gustavo Dudamel, the 26 year old conducting dynamo, with the fantastic Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, at Carnegie Hall.
In three words: I'm in love.
The Dude, as we will affectionately call him from now on, is a very charismatic, exciting young conductor. I was expecting an orchestra that because of age and inexperience would be forgiven for lack of discipline and clarity and I was blown away by the sound of it. Powerful, clear, beautiful sound. I've seen more mature orchestras (like in Mexico) that don't play as powerfully and soundly as this one.
Obviously, the national music system in Venezuela is working wonders and it is something other countries would do well to imitate. And the Dude conducts with great energy and character.
The frist part of the program was Bartok's Roman Carnival, A Piano Concerto by Chopin (with the great Emanuel Ax) and then Beethoven's Fifth, which is so great live. It's pure rock-n-roll. I think my darling Dude excelled himself in all, but the Fifth was gorgeous.
After that, there was a bit of showoffy Venezuelan hanky panky. with the orchestra and conductor donning sports training jackets with the colors of the national flag, and doing some latin numbers while dancing and screaming Mambo and twriling the contrabasses. I do not suffer showboating gladly, but to their credit, they played those things magnificently as well, and ther had the youth, the verve and the exuberance to pull it off.
Dude, you rock.

1 comment:

  1. Yowza! Congrats, madame director.