What's the best muscial experience you've ever had?
I know I'm starting too many discussions lately, but I just couldn't resist --
What was your most moving or best in general (meaningful) musical experience of your lifetime?
Mine was when I snuck a laptop into bed and *god forbid* listened to music when I was supposed to be sleeping :) I think I listened until one or something in the morning (and yes, that is very late for me).
Clicking song after song with the anticipation of listening for hours into the night, having hours of ecstasy (I'll stop soon), and no restraint thrilled me. It was the comfort that I could always come back to music that made me so happy.
Luckily some common sense stopped me or I would have collapsed some time the next day.
What about you?
Hard to pick one, but relevant to this website:
That's really hard for me to quantify seeing as how every time I listen to really good music I get goosebumps regardless if I am listening on my headphones or a live concert. There have been so many amazing experiences in my life with music I don't know where to start. Music is incredibly enchanting to me just as much now if not more than when I was younger as well. That's a really hard question haha.
Even though I'm just an amateur player, I'm going to say that one of my fondest musical experiences was creating a CD album of jazz with four of my friends -- we are called the Highlands Jazz Quintet and our album is called "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West." It was just so rewarding to work on the material, to go to the studio (owned by another friend and true-blue fan of our group), to play the best we could (which I'm going to say was pretty good), and see the process unfold. The cover art for the album was an original oil painting by Virginia artist Mario Thames. To commemorate our accomplishment I bought the painting and it now hangs in my living room, right next to my piano.
When I was studying violin in elementary school (eons ago), the Detroit Symphony performed summer symphonies at the Bandshell on Belle Isle. My family packed a picnic and we drove out to enjoy the concerts. I still remember lying on my back looking up at the sky (or closing my eyes), listening to the orchestra play as my mind wandered freely from one fantastical thought/image to another.
Playing duets with a friend who is such a great player that by his playing he dragged me upwards way beyond a level I could ever play on my own.
For most of us here it's a tough, if not impossible decision. And there are many moments I wouldn't want to cancel from my memory.
Performing the Carmina Burana with our community orchestra, four decent soloist singers, and a huge choir of volunteers.
If “best” means anything in this context it must be “memorable”, such as when I had a cello lesson from Christopher Bunting, a pupil of Casals.
I have a lot of great moments, spanning musical styles, venues/locations, and participation (audience/listener, performer). Too many to list, and it would not be fair to rank them.
As a listener: My first live hearing of the Mendelssohn Octet played by top soloists in Carnegie Hall. I soared with the music!
Playing 2nd oboe in the British Premier of Prokofiev's Duenna under Howard Williams of the ENO.
I think my favorite of all the live concerts I've attended was the opening concert of the first-ever Mellon Music Festival in Davis, California. It was in a small independent art gallery, so it was the closest I've ever been to the performers as a member of the audience, and there were memorable performances of the Dvorak Terzetto and Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8. The most influential concert would be the first one I ever attended, hearing the Walton viola concerto and Beethoven's 3rd Symphony when I was 12 and deciding the same night that I wanted to learn a string instrument.
A time when I was in love though alone, and heard a performance of Messiaen's 'Quatuor pour la fin du temps' and also felt what he wrote of as "It is all love" in the music.
Probably the first time I went to a Pinchas Zukerman concert. That was sensational.
Good for you, Paul -- are you nervous?
One of the most illuminating musical experiences for me personally was when I was a young Bluegrass mandolinist, probably in the mid 1970's.
As a player: when my beginners orchestra is all in time, and I’m in time with them!
For sheer musical elation, not Grapelli at the 1973 Cambridge Folk Festival (pace Rosemary), not Dylan on tour in 1966, not even getting conducted by Benjamin Britten at Aldwych in 1971, but an amateur production of "Annie" in Catford Town Hall
Kurt Sanderling conducting (in the nineties) the Minnesota Orchestra in Schubert 9 and, a couple years later, the Rotterdam Philharmonic in Prokofiev 6.
As a player - easy. When I was a teenager (still at school) I played in the local amateur symphony orchestra. For one programme we had the Emperor concerto, to be played by a little-known pianist called Stephen Bishop. I was in the middle of the second violins, so by some quirk of fate I was actually sitting near the keyboard. Well, outside of the tuttis I don't know if I played a note - I was absolutely mesmerised. I can't really put it into words - it was like playing from another dimension, as if the music was coming direct from the source (whatever that is). And within a very few years he made a famous recording of the Diabelli variation which is still a top recommendation today, as well as recording the Emperor (with the LSO and Colin Davis) - a wonderful performance which has always had an honoured place in my collection. He then became Stephen Kovacevich. The rest, as they say, is history.
Playing Beethoven's Romance #1 with a full (community) orchestra in a large church.....
1)Playing Sibelius 2nd Symphony at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock Maine in 1990.Charles Bruck, the assistant to Pierre Monteux conducted.The hall is in a beautiful pine forest with the rocky coast nearby.Bird chirps and wind in the pines gave additional embellishment to the music.Bruck was magnificent.
Best playing experience; Playing amplified violin on tour with the Don Ellis band, every night standing next to and hearing musicians like pianist Milcho Leviev, drummer Ralph Humphreys, saxophones Gary Herbig and Vince Denham, and all the others...
Hands down the time my old music school invited me back to play at their spring recital. I didn't want to, but the owner has some connections with music professors overseas and I figured it would be good to do them a favour. My old teacher still works for that school, too.
I'll add to my previous post this memorable gem, broadcast on the BBC Proms last weekend - the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann, with Fatma Said, Kathryn Rudge, Sunnyboy Dladla and David Shipley in Mozart's Requiem.
When I was around 5, a teacher at our school made us listen to Smetana’s Moldau. I loved it and the music almost brought me to tears. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember which music was it, so I couldn’t listen at it again at home, although I tried to explain it to my parents the best I could. Around 15 years later, I randomly found it in a new music CD, and as I heard it, I found myself again at the same classroom, with that teacher and almost brought to tears again.
My story maybe isn't nearly as glorious as some of the others on here, however it was quite touching and inspiring for me.
Two years as a (treble) choral scholar under Martindale Sidwell.
In 1980 I went to New York City to make it big as an actor and director. (That's a story for another time. ) I decided to go to the Metropolitan Opera and see Beethoven's "Fidelio". I wasn't much of an opera fan, but I figured if I went to the Met, I might change my mind. Well, standing room tickets were $5, so I got one and stood in the back of the main floor, where they had thee rows of slots for people to stand and watch the opera. Frankly, I wasn't impressed with the first act. Of course, having the stage so far away didn't help. Then, during intermission a man walked up to me and offered his ticket to me. "I'm a doctor, and I have an emergency so I have to leave." I said, "thank you," and looked at the ticket. It was fifth row center. Hence, sitting in the fifth row for the remainder of the play was like going from looking at stars without a telescope, to looking through the Hubble. It was amazing. Ever since then, if I have to leave a venue during intermission, I always go to the back rows and give my ticket(s) to someone sitting or standing there.
Adrian, do you remember the parody, "I saw a Maiden fall off a bus" (No, I never met Martindale Sidwell, but my brother sang in his choir and told me about the parody and the incident that sparked it)?
No John, I've never heard of that.
I encouraged my son to play guitar since he could only crawl, the rest he taught him self and he made his way through a jazz course at tertiary level. In his mid 20's we formed a blues duo, him singing and playing guitar and me on the drum kit. We played local venues and recorded a CD. We only needed to be a duo because his guitar playing made it sound like there was also a bass player.
As a listener, seeing the Guarneri String Quartet live several times, with perhaps the most exciting performance including Beethoven Op. 59 #3 with a sizzling finale tempo. I still get chills thinking about it - I felt like the Maxell guy pinned to my chair...
So many experiences to choose from... Right now I'm remembering a performance of Elgar's Enigma Variations by the combined forces of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra. As far as we could count, there were about 140 musicians crammed onto the Orpheum Theatre stage. All this power, under the hand of Maestro Bramwell Tovey, made for a thrilling experience.
Seeing the Stern-Rose-Istomin trio play the Archduke, my favorite piece, in 1970 in Paris.
It was pretty big for me as a player in community orchestra when I really felt like I was able to play a piece in concert how I wanted instead of slopping and faking through, which was Respighi's Pines of Rome - Parts of that piece still give me shivers.
Greatest/Best Performances witnessed ~
Adrian, you must have missed my brother by under two years, but Mr Madin, whose mishap with the bus prompted the parody, might probably still have been there when you were there.
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