Those of you who read this blog regularly know that VFB has a thing about Cleveland audiences giving too many standing ovations. Tonight I made an exception for the thrilling performance by the French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and the Cleveland Orchestra in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with guest conductor, the ever energetic Vladimir Ashkenazy. Not in recent memory have the orchestra, conductor and soloist been so “in sync.” (There were a few slips here and there, but it just didn’t matter.) The house was full, and there were cheers, whistles, you name it, at the end of the concerto.
Ashkenazy also conducted his own concoction of music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and his own transcription of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. There was a second extended ovation at the end of the concert. After multiple curtain calls, the conductor led the concertmaster off the stage signaling the end.
BTW, if you don’t know Bavouzet’s complete recording of Debussy’s piano music on Chandos, I recommend it to you.