We've just finished watching a video of Duddy's (that's Gustavo Dudamel to you) much and widely ballyhooed inaugural concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as its new Music Director, the video courtesy of the LAP's website (and with thanks to classical music critic and blogger Robert D. Thomas of Class Act for the heads-up and the link). The single work given (or at least the single work on the video) was Beethoven's No. 9, and it was not, how shall we put it, a performance for the ages — a performance twice jarringly interrupted by inappropriate applause (don't get us started!) — notwithstanding the fireworks show accompanying an encore of the choral section of the last movement. (The concert, we hasten to add for those who've been living under a rock for the past couple months, was given free at the Hollywood Bowl, and, no, we're not going to give you all the gory details of the performance. Watch and listen to the video for yourselves if you're interested.)
But there's time for stellar performances by Duddy and the LAP of No. 9 and of other great music. What was extraordinary about this concert was not the performance or the fireworks in the sky, but the fireworks in the audience. One would have thought Duddy a rock star of the very first magnitude so charged-up and unrestrainedly enthusiastic were they. And this for a mere conductor of a symphony orchestra!
Things seem to be looking up thanks to a gifted, charismatic, 28-year-old, afro-coiffed Latino.
Who woulda thought.