Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mozart and More!

Sunday night was my night with our local Symphony and what a lovely night it was!!! We are so blessed to have this in our city. That the expensive seats are always sold out tells how well we support it and love it. (I get a middle-priced seat.)

I was running late so I missed the "Prelude" -- a pre-concert chat by Maestro Zimmermann who discusses the programme. I really learn a lot from these and they make the concert more enjoyable -- especially if an unfamiliar composer is on the programme.

However, Richard called and I always make time for him as he's been a wreck since he lost his mother and calls me for support frequently. I was delighted to hear him in a good mood with news of re-decorating his kitchen and his productive antique shopping expedition. When he heard I was going out he asked what I was wearing and when I told him I wasn't sure, he told me to wear one of my "fabulous black dresses and pearls" so I'd wow my date confirming my contention that every woman needs a gay man as a friend -- they are great for your ego! After I explained that I didn't have a date, he said, "Wear black anyway -- you might meet someone." (I swear he's my surrogate mother.) I let that slide but I did drag out my favorite little black dress anyway -- it was the first thing I grabbed.

The programme was excellent:

Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A Major K. 201
Respighi: Fountains of Rome
Messiaen: Les Offrandes Oubliees (Forgotten Offerings)
Kodaly: Variations on a Hungarian Folksong
(aka Peacock Variations)

It was an excellent concert and very well-received by an appreciative audience. I would have loved to have Steph (Incurable Insomniac) and Nettl (Life in Shades of F Minor) with me for at least the Mozart part as both are musicians and scholars of his work. I would have enjoyed their input and expertise.

The Mozart Symphony was wonderful but then I think even bad Mozart is better than no Mozart at all. Call me biased but I think they saved the best for first.

I loved Ottorino Respighi's Fountains of Rome -- I'd heard it before and the performance was a delight with our young assistant conductor taking the baton. It's an upbeat piece and you could tell that conductor and orchestra were having a great time with it. So was the audience.

I really wasn't familiar with the works of Messiaen at all but it seems the classical music world is celebrating the anniversary of his birth. The Forgotten Offerings is a religious piece that nonstop for about eleven minutes with no breaks. The only way one can tell that the scene has changed is by the tempo and volume. I enjoyed it but think I'd like to hear more of his work. The jury is still out on Messiaen.

Kodaly's Peacock Variations consists of sixteen variations on a classic folk song of Hungary. It's a fun composition in that it is essentially the same song played in sixteen different ways. It's interesting in how it changes its mood. I'd definitely like to get to know Kodaly's work better.

Next month the theme for the performance will be "Remarkably Russian" and will feature a guest artist from Moscow. I can hardly wait! I love the Russian composers!

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!!



  1. Wish I could have been there! :(

  2. Messiaen messes with my head sometimes. There are pieces that move me ("Visions de l'Amen," for two pianos), and pieces that drive me up the wall (the birdsong-derived "Catalogue d'oiseaux," which actually has a section called "Buzzard"). Still, if you don't mind having your head messed with, and you've heard all the Debussy Images more than you can stand, O.M. is your man.


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