Monday, January 17, 2005


Okay, so upon awakening, I realized the snow is gone now. Easy come, easy go. Rewind to Saturday night, and I went to see the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. A friend of mine landed free tickets through her employer, and they were good seats at that. I haven't seen an orchestra play for... God, I don't know, years! And I mean years.

It was a nice time. I had forgotten how different an orchestra sounds in person than it does on recorded media. However, I'm not a huge fan of classical. The program included pieces by Mozart, Wagner, and Strauss. My favorite was Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde. However, I also rather liked the sound the orchestra made as they were making sure they were all in tune, at the beginning of each piece.

Interesting parts were my observations of the different body language of the musicians, in particular the strings. Some would emote so much, obviously feeling the power of the music and kind of living it. However, there was one woman who was very pretty but looked like she wanted to kill us. I don't know, it was weird, she just looked so miserable and put out. Weird. There was a soprano who sang for a few of the pieces. I see where they get the word "diva" from -- she kind of looked a little too pleased with herself, as I told my friend later.

I enjoyed watching and experiencing the audience members too. A woman in front of me was obviously transfixed by the music, moving her hands and leaned forward in her seat like she wanted to leap to the stage. There was a very old man in the box seats with his head fully down on his chest half the time, asleep. There was also a teenage girl with her head on her friend's shoulder, also asleep. The elderly gentleman next to me was delighted after several of the pieces, and even shouted out, "Bravo! Bravo!"

I've complained I don't put cultural events into my routine nearly enough. I'd be more likely, of course, to go to the theater than the symphony, but there's nothing like a free ticket. Glancing down at my ticket, I saw our seats would have cost us $65. Ticket prices for all kinds of similar events are daunting these days.

At any rate, it was nice to take a little time out for something I might not have otherwise experienced.

Thanks for reading,



Blogger Hebdomeros said...

Sounds like a cool experience.

I heard an NPR interview with a conductor once on how things are changing for symphony members. I guess they used to fire people who showed any, and I mean any, emotion while they played. They're just starting to realize that the audience likes to see the musicians emotionally involved in what they're playing.

Yeah, I need to do more cultural things as well. That's actually one of my resolutions for the year.

11:07 AM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

Oh my gosh! That's so interesting. So really, this woman was probably really old school, then. I did like seeing the people who seemed more invested in what they were playing. The lead violin was particularly animated. And it made me happy to see her so involved, and obviously that she "got" the music. To me, that said to me that she really understood and loved what she was doing.

Definitely sounds like a rule that NEEDED to be broken to me...!

11:10 AM  

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