California Philharmonic Orchestra Finale Review - Left Us "Wanting For More"

Portrait of Maestro Victor Vener

It was a sad moment as our Sunday afternoons featuring the California Philharmonic Orchestra with Maestro Victor Vener at the helm came to a season finale with “ Broadway’s Best.” We were fortunate to attend several of the concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles this season. I was not only reminiscing the orchestra days of my youth, but also culturing Shannon, my 12-year-old daughter, to the pleasures of watching live musicians and appreciating the talent involved. This proved to be a very successful method for me to inspire her and also to spend quality time together. Maestro Vener encourages audience participation and it is a treat to witness these awesome performances.

Walt Disney Concert Hall With Its Great Architecture in Los Angeles

This year, for the first time, the fascinating talks with the Maestro were available only at the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 1 PM. These are not lectures, but interactive discussions between Maestro Vener and the audience. Specific points about each piece in the program are discussed in an interestingly comical fashion. Hearing about the history and reasons of why the composer wrote the piece makes the music come ‘alive’ as it is played. One can ‘see’ the discord, elation, love, conflicts, and the variety of emotions that were inspiring the composer to put his thoughts into music as the Maestro describes how the music evolved. The information discussed here is invaluable to help one understand the performance.

Maestro Victor Vener

Broadway’s Best featured tunes from Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, South Pacific, Wicked, Les Misérables, and more. Khori Dastoor, a charming soprano, and Danny Gurwin, an amusing tenor, performed both solo and duet pieces. Khori’s rendition of “ The Girl in 14G” from Thoroughly Modern Millie left us laughing for hours afterwards. Danny’s solo, “ Younger Than Springtime” from South Pacific, had me wallowing in romantic daydreams.

Here are some of Shannon's comments on the selections:

Die Fledermaus (1874): This was a fun, twisted story that was well thought out. The music was beautiful and Khori sang it nicely. She did the high laughing notes well.

The Organ is Magnificent

Mama Mia! (1999): “ Money, Money, Money” was very dramatic. I liked the tune of “ Knowing Me, Knowing You.” “ Thank You for the Music” was a nice ending song for this group.

The Maestro "Working"

Hairspray (2002): “ Come so Far ( Got so Far to Go)”, “ Big, Blonde and Beautiful”, “ The New Girl in Town”, and “ Ladies' Choice” had an excellent beat to them. The crowd was tapping thier feet with the music.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

South Pacific (1949): “ Younger Than Springtime” was entertaining. Danny Gurwin sang it smoothly.

Maestro Speaking to the Audience

Wicked (2003): “ No One Mourns the Wicked”, “ The Wizard and I”, “ Dancing through Life”, “ Popular”, “ Defying Gravity”, and " For Good” were all very mystical.

Danny Gurwin

For a Bio on Danny Gurwin: Click Here

The Merry Widow (1905): In “ Maxim’s”, Danny Gurwin had a great voice once again. “ Vilja Song” was fun because the audience sang a little, but it did seem a bit long. The “ Waltz Duet” was good as both Danny and Khori were singing a duet. When only the orchestra played for a few stanzas, Danny and Khori danced the waltz together.

Khori Dastoor

For a Bio on Khori Dastoor: Click Here

Les Misérables (1980): Danny sang “ Bring Him Home” wonderfully. It was a great performance that deserved the standing ovation and huge applause that it received.

Majestic Setting of the Orchestra

Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002): Khori Dastoor sang “ The Girl In 14G.” It was funny, entertaining, and lovely all at the same time. Khori played three different women in three voices one after the other, just like an opera. It was my favorite!

The Beautiful Walt Disney Concert Hall

Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor (1890): “ Introduction”, “ Gliding Dance of the Maidens”, “ Wild Dance of the Men”, “ General Dance”, “ Dance of The Boys”, “ Gliding Dance of the Maidens” (reprise), “ Dance of the Boys/Dance of the Men” (reprise) and “ General Dance” (reprise) were all performed. I loved them so much. It was a great ending to the concert even though there were encores.

Encore Time: There were three different encores, but my all-time favorite was “ We Are the Champions.” That was the best…hearing that from an orchestra was just amazing! It was wonderfully “mind blowing!”

Bauhinia x blakeana: Hong Kong Orchid Tree Is One of the Many Trees at Walt Disney Concert Hall

During the intermission, westrolled through the outside gardens. This peaceful respite offers a chance to stretch themuscles and enjoysplender for the eyes. “My Mom and I cruised to the magnificent rose fountain made from broken china dishes. What a beauty! One of my favorite trees there is the Bauhinia x Blakeam tree: a Hong Kong Orchid tree. Soon, we head back to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to listen to more music. It starts up again-such lovely music,” she notes.

Bauhinia x Blakeana: Hong Kong Orchid Tree

The best way to enjoy these concerts is to buy a season ticket. Recurring season ticket purchasers procure better seats every season. Buying now for the 2010 season will guarantee you the best seats and prices. Concerts are available at both Festival on the Green in Pasadena (Saturdays at 7:30 PM), and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (Sundays at 2 PM).

Festival on the Green in Pasadena

For More Information Click Here: California Philharmonic

Reserve your tickets now! Call 626 300 8200
Series subscriptions and individual tickets on sale now—for a downloadble copy of our season brochure, click here.
To order tickets online, click here.

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