Thursday, November 29, 2007

An Evening With the Symphony

Jessica and I got a phone call this evening from Mom and Kate asking if we wanted to go to the symphony. I was pretty tired, and didn't really want to leave the house, but Kate had the tickets and I didn't want to let them go to waste. So I changed out of my jeans into nicer clothes, and we drove down to the house. The Utah Symphony was playing at the Browning Center at the WSU campus, but we had to pick Katie up.

Once we had grabbed Kate we went out to dinner at Denny's. Hot chocolate sounded good, and it was right on the way. Katie updated us about her life at school and all her friends, and we just enjoyed being sisters and chatting. It was nice.

The concert was wonderful. I haven't been to the symphony in ages, and my soul needed it. The first number was Mendelssohn's Symphony no. 3 in A minor, op. 56 (I got all that from the program). I can't say I'm the biggest Mendelssohn fan, but there were some beautiful moments in the piece, and I was quite entertained by the maestro's silk shirt bouncing around. He wasn't wearing the traditional tux, just slacks and a silk shirt, and every time he waved his arms around his shirt put on a little dance.

The second number was Lois Spohr's Violin Concerto No. 8 in A minor, with the solo part by guest violinist Ralph Matson. I haven't really heard much from Spohr before, so it was interesting to get acquainted with his music. The violinist was pretty good--no Itzhak Perlman, but good in his own way. I enjoyed the piece.

But the real highlight of the evening for me, was the final number: Ottorino Respighi's Pini de Roma (Pines of Rome). I love, love, love this piece, but this was the first I've heard it played live, and man oh man did it send chills up and down my spine. The opening movement made me smile with its delightful chaos, and the second movement (Pines near a Catacomb) had such brilliant brass parts it almost made me cry. The third movement almost had a touch of Debussy in it, and the solo clarinet line ... I can still hear it in my mind and each note was so graceful and perfect. The final movement is spectacular with its military fanfares, and again brilliant performances from the brass section. This final movement lifts you up on wave after wave of sound and you want to just float away in it. This was truly one of those concert moments that you know you will remember forever and ever.

What this all comes down to is that I miss making music--making music with an ensemble. I was never a very good musician, but I loved being in rehearsal or on stage or even on the football field with my bands and making music with all of them. There is something so transcendent about a moment like that: when a several dozen people (or a couple hundred in the case of my marching band) become one musical ensemble. I miss that. And I miss having music in my life on a daily basis. There's not much I can do about it at this point. I just miss it is all.

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

I miss playing in an ensemble too! I was just in a multi stake orchestra choir concert and really loved it! It was a lot of time commitment, but when it was over, I thought, now my violin is going to go under my bed and gather dust for who knows how long. It was very sad!