Beethoven, Weber, Grieg

The Presidential Orchestra is the house orchestra of the Kremlin. Nothing special, just good music.

Concert included Beethoven’Egmont Overture, the overtures to Weber’s Freischütz and Oberon, and the Grieg Piano Concerto.  Anton Orlov conducted, Sergey Tarasov was the piano soloist. Tarasov was good.

After two concerts there, though, I’m not sure I care for the Tschaikowsky Hall. I find the Conservatory a much nicer venue.

The acoustics at the Tschaikowsky Hall are fine (neither especially good nor bad), and there are good sight-lines in the amphitheater layout. But the parterre is a little bit too sunken. Last night and today I sat in the lower amphitheater seats, behind the parterre, but even that was not very elevated. The result is that there is actually an obstructed view from most seats – the obstruction being the orchestra itself. To see over the first row of the orchestra, you need to be sitting in the upper amphitheater, which is actually quite some distance away from the stage.

Other quirks: totally inadequate cloakrooms, which are also laid out bizarrely so that the coat checker has to disappear into the back to find the coats and then re-emerge, which takes forever. They also bar the exits, so there is a huge bottleneck of people trying to leave (because of security, they make people enter through only two doors where they can inspect bags and wand suspicious people, but that is true in most venues in Moscow and not everyone arrives at the same time; other venues then open all the exits at the end of the performance so that everyone can get out at once, though). And they seem to hire people to read the program out loud before each piece – why have programs? This is just tiresome.

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