Thursday, March 28, 2013

A night at the symphony!

I feel like I take a picture of the hall every time I visit...but I can't help it.  It's just a glorious place to be.

The evening started with Mozart's Symphony 41 (Jupiter) - one that you've likely heard before, even if as muzak in an elevator.  A review from the Thursday concert was disappointed with the start to the concert...and I think he accurately pins down the reason in the audaciously difficult nature of the program.  A full Mozart symphony, a new piece that fully utilizes the orchestra's talents that goes for 30 minutes without stopping, and then the killer full-of-sustained-notes Saint-Saens.  Yikes.  When you have this many heavy hitters, the Mozart became the easy starter, which is a little nuts considering the difficulty of playing Mozart well, especially when you have such pieces following it!  It would have made far more sense to do something simpler and shorter.  But it was a pleasure to hear, all the same.

The second piece was a new music pastiche by Augusta Read Thomas.  Called a cello for orchestra, it was more of a concerto for cello, percussion and orchestra (such liberal use of crotales!). 

A lovely elderly patron took this picture of us---her thoughts on the new music?  "It made me nervous!" 

The grand finale after intermission was Camille Saint-Saens' Third Organ Symphony - with a tune you may recognize!

The theme was given lyrics and a pop reggae beat in 1977's "If I Had Words"  (wow that hair!)

---and the song was also used as the recurring theme to the 1995 movie Babe, and jigged to by our friend Farmer Hoggett.

The theme comes in at 1:47 - now, just imagine it played by an organ with so much bass that you can feel it through the floor.  I live for that fortissimo ending.  It brings tears to your eyes, being in a hall surrounded by and swimming in such sonority.  No recording can ever match that, no way, no how.

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