Accordo: Bacchanalia Afterthoughts

Mar 05, 2012

What did you think of the second Accordo season performance? Give us your take on the progression between each work on the program. What did you like about experiencing the performance at the architecturally significant Christ Church Lutheran? Any other thoughts on the season to share with us?

 

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The concert was fabulous; it is so wonderful to hear and see these marvelously talented musicians play small ensemble works. LOVED the Jeffrey Cotton piece, but the Beethoven trio and Dvorak quartet were fantastic as well. Edward Arron and Ian Ding were perfect guest artists, they both played with the usual Accordo energy and enthusiasm. I am not crazy, however, about the venue. The sightlines are terrible. For those who are only interested in acoustics, it may be fine, but I only enjoy a performance when I can actually see the musicians play. That is part of the "wonder" for me. And the seating is horribly uncomfortable.

As season ticket holders, we have enjoyed Accordo from their beginning, We will continue as members. I am wondering if you would add a screen to the staging, adding the visual to the performance. Thank you for asking for my comment.

As season ticket holders, we have enjoyed Accordo from their beginning, We will continue as members. I am wondering if you would add a screen to the staging, adding the visual to the performance. Thank you for asking for my comment.

The Accordo performance was wonderful -- a mix of old and new and I love the small ensemble. The members Christ Church Lutheran were very hospitable, but the venue is uncomfortable and blocked site lines. I would have liked to have been able to see the musicians. Thanks for the lovely wine reception that followed.

We are "groupies" for Accordo, no matter where they perform! They always amaze us with their music selection and artistic playing. I would say that the seating isn't comfortable, but not a big issue for me. Sound is crisp, clear and good in the sanctuary. The only problem I could tell is the poor lighting for the musicians - there is certainly an aesthetically pleasing and appropriate lighting alternative to the lights they used. Thanks for the nice reception.

Accordo is Adordo!!!! Fantastic program. Amazing musicianship. The violin percussion duo was so exciting -- the performance electric. I really enjoy the acoustic atmosphere of the venue. All that brick makes for bouncing resonate sound. As others have commented,the seating is rather puritan very very tough and hard. But that being said, I am so transported by the quality of the playing that my tired derriere stops complaining. Others in the audience are much older than I so I am sure comfort during the concert is truly effecting the enjoyment. Bring pillows folks. An idea about the sight line problems. Try keeping the very first row of seats reserved i.e. empty. . . as people file in have them write names on their tickets and then 10 minutes before start of concert announce the first row seating lottery winners . . . best sightlines in the place that way. Also, it is not always the same early early arrivers that have all the fun.

I really don't think general seating is the problem - it's this particular venue. I attend many chamber music concerts at a number of venues for which the seating is not reserved: Hamline University Sundin Hall, 3M Auditorium at the Minnesota History Center, the SPCO Music Room, Saint Anthony United Church of Christ, James J. Hill House ... and more. This particular venue has worse sightlines than any of those venues. Granted, some of them have "theatre style" seating, but not all.

1. "Architecturally significant" though it may be considered, Christ Church Lutheran's interior is stark and boring, and the seating is very uncomfortable. Accordo's audience is a notably homogenous cohort of aging boomers, whose slow walking in crowds also complicated getting to the intermission refreshments -- rethink how you place the tables . The acoustics are adequate, the sight lines poor. 2. The performance was superb. It is such a treat to hear such distinguished artists, and such well-chosen programming. 3. I'd like to know more about each piece than was provided by the musicians' preceding verbal remarks. I don't need another glossy Schubert Club program, or an Accordo insert that says nothing about a work's history or musical analysis but features repeat blurbs about the series organizers. We appreciate the work done to bring such fine chamber music to the public, but from here on, it should be about the music and musicians, not the organizers.

What did you think of the second Accordo season performance? After this season’s first concert, I thought it best to reserve judgment. After the second concert, I believe my impressions to be confirmed: the group is slipping. I began to follow Accordo two seasons ago, and continued because they performed interesting works with passion and verve. The musicianship was impeccable and the concert experiences were thrilling. This season I’m hearing poor attacks, rambling tempos, even poor intonation. And worse, I’m not hearing passion, emotion, excitement. I feel as if the group is phoning it in. Though I’m sure the guest artists are splendid, I didn’t get the sense that the group was performing as an ensemble. There wasn’t the internal communication that attracted me at the start. They sounded like they needed more rehearsal time together. My music instructor had this to say about practice: Miss one day and you notice. Miss two days and your colleagues notice. Miss three days and the clown in the fifth row notices. Well, ensemble rehearsal is similar and this clown noticed. Give us your take on the progression between each work on the program. The program was fine. I enjoy a program that mixes different styles and periods. The opening Beethoven was a beautiful piece and the following Cotton piece, though not my cup of tea, was appreciated in the interest of exploration. The Dvorak was nice, but the group sounded like they were struggling to keep it together. I enjoyed the verbal program notes presented by the players. They set the stage for the piece without presenting a dissertation, keeping the program moving. I have ample time to research the history of the music later. What did you like about experiencing the performance at the architecturally significant Christ Church Lutheran? I’m afraid there is little to like about the venue, whether “architecturally significant” or not. I really was looking forward to attending Accordo here, given the reputation of the building. But I have found that the sound isn’t particularly good (I’ve moved around a bit to experiment), the seats are hard, the lighting is poor, and the sightlines don’t exist. The nature of the place leads the audience to take the experience less seriously than in a theatre. One wouldn’t think it appropriate to bring small children to a theatre, but children are (and should be) welcome in a church. Unfortunately, they can be disruptive when they’re yet not old enough to mix with grown-ups. Any other thoughts on the season to share with us? I have felt pure transcendence while listening to Accordo. I’m not feeling that this season, and I want it back! I really do love the group. They usually demonstrate the highest level of ensemble playing. It takes time and hard work to achieve that spark. I am a musician; I play in ensembles large and small, and I freely admit that I have nothing on the members of Accordo. But if it were my group, I would want to know. I want the artists to feel supported but I need them to uphold their end of the bargain as well.

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