10 September, 2007

Symphony Season has begun!

Ah, yes...the peace and harmony of a good symphony. It doesn't get much better than this. As I've written in the last year or so, Hubster and I don't go out to eat but a handful of times a year. We rarely take the whole family out...(But we try to cook well!) We spend what small portion we allocate from our family budget toward date nights/entertainment for tickets to the symphony instead of meals out or weekends at a hotel. Food only nourishes for a few hours, while live music can stay with us always.

Our orchestra started out in a patriotic tone, playing the Star-Spangled Banner. Nice touch, that!

Next came the Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein. Nicely done; I love Bernstein. He is the first conductor I remember admiring as a youth.

After that, a most horrid and modern piece, the likes of which I have not had to sit through in a few years. It was a Violin Concerto composed in 1993 by John Adams (almost 35 minutes long). Some folks like the style and appreciate the instrumentalists' ability to execute complicated timing against triads and chromatic chord structures of different pitches within the different instrument families. My sensibilities have not been sufficiently trained to appreciate these confusing sounds which feel chaotic to my senses. I had been trained in instrumental and symphonic music. I was even in a wind symphony for brief spurts during high school and even into college playing the bassoon, though my first instrument was the flute.

There was one section that was interesting, and it was quite short. The bassoons had a nice run for about 12 bars, but that was all that held my attention. The percussion did some interesting things, but overall, it was the type of music that sets one's mood or demeanor on edge. It reminded me of background music for a scary or suspenseful movie.

Thank the Lord for intermission and then a fantastic rendition of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 in C minor. Because we swapped our normal tickets for the weekend matinée showing, we were able to score some great seats at about the fifth row. The Tchaikovsky made the whole trip to the city very much worth it. Plus our old maestro was back in town for this opening weekend. He is fun to watch conducting bouncy pieces that crescendo and grow, as he is apt to hop about.

What fun! I wonder what our new conductor will be like. He has guest conducted here before, but I do not remember what he did. I'll have to go look through my old playbills to see. I do save the playbills, for they contain wonderful information and background on the pieces played, not to mention biographical information on the composers and any soloists.

How do my readers prefer to spend their entertainment dollars?

Javamom, whose second item for entertainment spending for the family is on a Netflix subscription.

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