I just got back from seeing Sir James Galway perform with the Napa Valley Symphony – it was a great concert! I actually found out about the concert thanks to a friend emailing me about it on Thursday, otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d have missed it. On Sunday, I left around 1:00pm to get over to Yountville by 2:30pm to buy a ticket. Much to my surprise, when I got to the Lincoln Theater the concert was sold out! I hung around the Will Call window and got lucky – a woman came up holding tickets. I asked her if she was selling tickets, and she said no – and promptly gave me one! 🙂
The concert started off with the Beethoven 2nd Symphony. This was a reversal in the program order as the Beethoven was supposed to be in the second half, the Galways in the first. Anyhow, I was surprised to hear the majority of the people clapping after every movement! Usually at a classical concert here in the USA a few people might clap between movements – but this was different.
After the intermission, Sir James took the stage and played the Mozart D Major flute concerto. He sure gets a nice fat low register and though initially I had a hard time hearing him cut over the orchestra (I was near the back of the hall), within a few minutes a good balance between him and the orchestra emerged. The 1st movement cadenza was played well, and it was refreshing to really hear Sir James get a chance to show off his still quite formidable flute playing. The second movement cadenza I didn’t get, it seemed pretty mindless really (no reflection on Sir James as he didn’t write the thing). The third movement zipped right along. All in all, a nice version of the concerto.
Sir James then left the stage and returned shortly thereafter with his wife to play the Cimarosa. Can’t say that piece does anything for me, sorry. Would have much rather heard them play the scherzo from the Mendelssohn ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Several encores followed the Cimarosa. They played an arrangement of the Mozart ‘Turkish March’ and then Sir James played Brian Boru’s March, Danny Boy, and the fastest version of Bach’s Badinerie I’d ever heard him do (too fast, to be honest).
I stuck around after the end of the concert in the lobby and got in line with all the others to get CDs signed by the Galways, or just say hello (which is what I did).
Catch him if you can.