Saturday, January 28, 2023

Tchaikovsky Will Be Live Tonight!

I won't go into details, but I did something in the gym today I had never done before. That's all I'm telling you. How's that for being elusive (*coy smile*)? 

I will tell you, however, that I do have plans to hear the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky's magnificent 5th Symphony tonight in Raleigh. It seems like it's been years since I heard a classical music concert at the Meymandi Auditorium. I, for one, love to hear music performed in person. I love the energy of a live performance. I love watching the musicians plying their trade. And as a trumpet player, I am always pulling for the trumpet section to hit all their high notes (which ain't easy). But I especially enjoy watching the string musicians. I mean, just think of the violin and its ability to beautifully deliver an incredibly wide range of music, from backwoods fidlin' to serious classical music. The violin can serve as a soloist for an orchestra, but it is equally at home behind the scenes contributing to the overall beauty of the compositions being played. My goodness, how that instrument sings, and with soul. Violas, too, intrigue me. The viola has an extremely unique tonal range, being one of the only truly "middle" voices in a symphonic orchestra. It has a soft, buttery goodness that no other instrument really possesses. And then there's the bassoon. Even the word sounds funny. But just listen to the bassoon solo in The Rite of Spring and you'll know why so many people love that instrument. 

In a nutshell, there is nothing like orchestral music being performed live. Whenever I attend a live concert I marvel at the color and textures, the pure power and, by contrast, the effect of silence. So much magic is lost through videotaping and recording. I can't imagine that someone would rather watch Phantom of the Opera on YouTube than see it live! In case you haven't noticed, I have a very emotional response to music and find that it inspires lofty thoughts. Sometimes during a concert I even glimpse a better world. 

One more thing and then I'll stop. I'm not interested in celebrity-focused concerts where an SVF (Someone Very Famous) is featured and the publicity centers around an airbrushed photo of said SVF. I don't like anything (or anyone) distracting from the music itself. However, I do enjoy it when the conductor (or someone else who is knowledgeable) addresses the audience, because I like learning about composers and the circumstances under which they lived and composed. Don't know if that will happen tonight as there will be a guest conductor, but I hope so. 

Enjoy the weekend!