There are added factors at play, of course: this was no one-off concert (like the “Evening with Lang Lang” the NSO offered in 2009), but a week-long residency with Eschenbach, whom Lang Lang has called a musical father. It makes sense that Washington saw his best side. In any case, the week had a lot of rewards for me, and evidently for many of the people who filled the halls for his performances. And the passion of the debates I’ve seen in the wake of the performances, between those pro and con, is something I wish we had more of in this field; I love it that so many people are listening and talking and thinking, from those who call him “Bang Bang” to those who love him (and I’ve been on both sides of that equation). It amuses me to realize, looking back over my past reviews of him, how much I’ve struggled with myself almost every time I’ve heard him.
In other news, Stephen Brookes reviewed the Momenta Quartet playing an intriguing program of Buddist-inspired music, and got to see the performance of Morton Subtonick’s opera “Lucy: Song and Dance” that was rescheduled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Grace Jean heard Yefim Bronfman show his considerable stuff with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. And Joan Reinthaler heard a wide-ranging Prokofiev program from the National Philharmonic.