January 27, 2008 at 8:45 PMGoing to the see the Kansas City Symphony is one of my favorite pastimes. I love seeing "my" musicians, the full orchestra, Michael Stern, but most of all, of course, hearing the music. As addressed in last week's pre-concert talk, there is an energy at a live performance that you just can't get from a recording. This energy is what keeps me coming back enthused.
Last week, none other than Joshua Bell was soloing with the symphony! Instead of just ______ Concerto, he played Chaconne by Corigliano (the first movement of his Red Violin Concerto), Chausson's Poeme, and Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. Also on the program was Revueltas' La Noche de los Mayas and Respighi's Pines of Rome. What a program. I was not bored for one second! The fun, however, didn't begin at 8:00 Saturday night...
My friends, Karin Lin and Colleen Russo, arrived at my house Saturday afternoon (I had seen Karin on Friday. See a previous blog of mine). Karin brought her two adorable daughters and Colleen, with a recently broken arm, came with her mother. We talked about many things and later Karin and Colleen went shopping with me for a dress for that evening! We had a good time.
At about 6:15, we headed over to Kansas City for the pre-concert talk which was to begin at 7:00. The talks, before every symphony concert, are nice because they give substantial background on the program and they involve Michael Stern and the soloist. My question asked about bringing people to classical concerts who don't normally go. I addressed this because Michael Stern had written an article on that subject a week previously. The answer entailed maintaining enthusiasm and persevere in bringing friends to the symphony.
As afore mentioned, the concert was remarkable. The Revueltas involved the principle trombonist playing a conch shell! The percussionists were also right on; it was funny because they were all dressed in tuxes going completely tribal. Then came Corigliano's Chaconne, with Joshua Bell soloing. As in most modern music, it initially seemed quirky, but as I got into it, I came to appreciate it more. The real gem, however, arrived in the form of Chausson's Poeme. When I was listening up on it before the concert, it sounded boring (don't smite me), but during the concert, I could appreciate its lyricism and lushness much more than I could via recording. Out of the three Bell played, Poeme is currently my favorite. Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is always a crowd pleaser and Bell, of course, performed it like a true virtuoso. The way he can toss off those arpeggios is just disgusting. The final piece on the program was Pines of Rome. Because some seats in the second row were open, Colleen and I moved down there at intermission and we got blasted. It was intense, but so much fun at the same time!
Bell met concert goers after the concert, so all of us waited around to see him. We got a picture, too:
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