Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beethoven Festival Was Beethoven-y

The Washington Sinfonietta's Beethoven festival concert has come and gone. It was good! It was a relief, really...that last movement of the symphony was HARD. I mean, it's not technically that difficult...until you play it as fast as the conductor wants it. My arm still sort of feels like it's going to fall off!

There were mixed feelings among my friends about the piano concerto. They really got into the bombast and showy fun of the Egmont overture, and it's hard to argue with a Beethoven symphony: they don't call these things "classical music" for nothing. The concerto, however, bucked expectations. The listeners said that they thought they knew where it was going, and all of the sudden, it veered off into something else. The change, they thought, was not altogether welcome. I found that it had a lot of repetition, but not necessarily productive repetition.

Afterward, we tried to hit up Palette, the restaurant attached to the Madison hotel, for some food and drink. Palette, unfortunately, was closed. However, they sat us in the lobby/lounge area of the Madison and served us from Palette's bar menu. The fried oysters were revelatory (sorry, no photos, but they weren't much to look at anyway), and they also had a mixed plate of small sandwiches (burgers, duck with provolone, and crab salad) and sweet potato fries that were all delightful.

The highlight may have been the cocktail I had, the Park Avenue:

This was a mix of bourbon, vermouth, and bitters, up with a cherry (but could also be served on the rocks). I'm usually a fan of sweeter cocktails, but I think I am learning to appreciate a well-made bourbon or whiskey drink.

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