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Sydney Menees

Oh, how I love the symphony. Let me count the ways:

January 27, 2008 at 8:45 PM

Going 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:


It was an entertaining weekend!

From Bilbo Prattle
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 1:37 AM
Live music. I agree. Broken arm? That stinks! Photo op with JB? Excellent:>) I think he must recognize all of you as regulars by now. I remember C posting photos of him, and you at least twice before. This is a very good thing. Realizing that Bell is essentially my age and yet has an avid fan base extending from less than 1/2 my age up to twice my age is heartening both for him as well as for classical music. It may never be as big as Big Pot but who cares? Some of the greatest and most cherished meaningful moments in music are those small events with people you get to hear and maybe even play side by side with. Don't laugh. I think you and your friends ( maybe with arm healed) wil lget that opportunity some day.
From Terez Mertes
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 2:29 PM
Oh, how COOL! That pic of all of you is a real framer. (And I enjoyed virtually attending the open rehearsal, or was it a pre-concert thing? Can't remember.)
From Mara Gerety
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 3:36 PM
I'm loving the image of the percussionists all in tuxes "going completely tribal." :)
From Laurie Niles
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 5:26 PM
I like the picture in the T-shirts....;)
From Tom Holzman
Posted on January 28, 2008 at 7:08 PM
It's amazing how good those t-shirts look on all of's beauties.
From E. Smith
Posted on January 29, 2008 at 7:15 AM
And what's that pink muff thing on the table in front of Josh?! I think this is about the tenth time I've seen a photo of Sydney, Karin, or Colleen, or maybe all three with Mr. Bell!
From Karin Lin
Posted on January 29, 2008 at 8:45 PM
It was SO great to finally attend a JB concert with you, Syd, over two years after we discovered we'd both been at his previous appearance in Kansas City! Yay for for bringing together violin lovers of all ages and geographic locations.
From Sydney Menees
Posted on January 29, 2008 at 9:25 PM
Same to you, Karin! Having you here was so much fun! It's amazing what the internet has made possible.
From T Netz
Posted on January 31, 2008 at 3:18 AM
That is a wonderful photo! Thanks for sharing your evening with us.

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