I went to the symphony for the first time last Thursday night. Or if not the first time, then the first time that I can remember. Although I used to listen to Rachmaninoff while doing my homework in high school (sometimes I switched it up with our Captain & Tennille 8 track tape), I've never been a huge classical music fan. I like music I can sing to. And, as my mom always said, it's scary – all quiet & lulls you into a drowse & then suddenly "boom!" there go the horns or the drums. It's a lot of work to listen to a classical piece of music, in my opinion.
I went with some ladies from church – they needed a chauffeur & had a free ticket for me. It was the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, with a guest violinist, Vadim Gluzman. Here's a list of what they played:
BEETHOVEN Fidelio Overture
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto (with Mr. Gluzman – a total teddy bear cutie, if you want my honest opinion)
DEBUSSY La mer
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture #3
And here are my thoughts on the experience:
- We sang the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning! I thought that was great fun – although had I known in advance I might have limbered my voice up a little more.
- I loved the first piece, the Beethoven. That's what I think a symphony should sound like! Although I couldn't get Dudley Moore as the conductor in Foul Play out of my head. So I was probably smiling inappropriately. Or maybe people thought I was really a fan.
- The Sibelius with the guest "fiddler" reminded me of a series of an interminable number of some arpeggios. Up and down the scale, all random, with "interesting" syncopation. Really, he was playing the heck out of that violin & he was a joy to watch – so into the music & looking like he might burst with it before he finished. But. I couldn't really find the tune, you know? And apparently that matters to me. So I mostly just watched him & the rest of the orchestra, which was actually quite fascinating.
- The Debussy, I was astounded to find, reminded me of the warm-up the orchestra did between each number (I had no idea that instruments needed to be tuned every 20 minutes). At the end there was some very satisfactory percussion & double bass playing (I want to play an instrument bigger than me!), but most of the time I was people watching rather than enjoying the music. I was astounded because for some reason I assumed I would like Debussy.
- And then we were back to Beethoven & I was so excited because I thought I would like it. Not so much. However, there was a small section that reminded me of the song from Oklahoma that Will and Ado Annie sing – "With me, it's all or nuthin!" So I left the symphony with that running through my head, which was great fun.