Pianist Lang Lang at the Hollywood Bowl
Music under the stars and dinner alfresco. Summer is not officially summer here in Los Angeles until we go to the Hollywood Bowl. This open-air concert venue is a beloved Southern California tradition. On Thursday night we dined alfresco, eating a delicious meal with our friends. Afterwards we sat back and basked in the gorgeous music coming from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. We anticipated an exciting performance by piano virtuoso Lang Lang.
Conductor Gustavo Dudamel
The classical program was all Russian. Lang Lang played Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto and it was electrifying. After a standing ovation, he returned for an encore and played a beautiful piece by Liszt. In the second half of the program, the orchestra played "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky which was very beautiful and haunting.
I learned that the impetus for "Pictures" came from the death of Mussorgsky's close friend, the artist Viktor Hartman, who died unexpectedly in the summer of 1873. A memorial of Hartman's art work was organized and "Pictures" preserves Mussorgsky's visit to the exhibition. The work presents the pictures connected by a series of "Promenades," during which we hear Mussorgsky walking through the gallery from artwork to artwork. Amazing! We were hearing the footsteps of the composer visiting the art exhibition of his dear friend. I felt transported by the magnificent sounds we were hearing that night at the Hollywood Bowl.
It was a fabulous summer evening under the stars -- delicious food and wine, wonderful friends, and thrilling Russian music. A summertime treat that will be a treasured memory.
Photos from The Los Angeles Times