This is My "Real" Blog: A Night at the Symphony

Angie's Blog!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Night at the Symphony

No, this is not some cliched reference to a Marx Brothers movie. Our night with other Knoxville Bloggers at the KSO concert was . . . awesome. (Such an pathetic adjective--but it fits nicely.)

We got to the Historic Tennessee Theater about an hour early. The theater was recently renovated, and this was our first time to experience the "new look." And, it's simply beautiful. We had received information from Stephanie Burdette, Communications Director of the KSO, about the concert. One of the things she mentioned in her email was the maestro's pre-concert talk. That was really quite nice. He explained some of the nuances of the pieces -- and played portions for the audience members who had come early for his lecture.

He brought out the featured artist, Navah Perlman. Mark wrote a hilarious post about Ms. Perlman last week. When he met Stephanie Burdette (who had seen the post -- and laughed) he reminded her that he had made the joke about Rhea Perlman and Ron Perlman. (You really need to see the post to understand)

Ms. Perlman talked about preparation for the piece she was going to play. She also talked about just having talked to her four children who were at home -- running around the kitchen, I believe -- and suddenly she became real to me. And yes, I have a degree in music. . .and piano was my major instrument. . .but the words "not even close" don't begin to describe....

After their talk, they left the stage to make final preparations for the concert. Musicians filtered onto the stage to tune. After a few minutes, Stephanie and Jason arrived. They were seated in the row in front of us, which was fun. (It was for us, at least) We shared in some idle chatter, and suddenly it was time for the concert to begin.

A small chamber group came out and played the first piece. It was very, very good. Maestro Richman had explained some of the "give and take" from the different sections of the ensemble -- and it was interesting to see that played out (literally) by the musicians. They used a continuo (harpsichord) and although it was tricky to hear it from time to time, when I did get a chance to hear it played, it was beautiful.

Following the first piece, the stage (using hydraulics) lowered, and the continuo was replaced by a beautiful Steinway grand piano. After Ms. Perlman came out (much applause) she readied herself for her piece with the symphony. The Mozart piano concerto was beautiful. Haunting at times. And, I was reminded why I like Mozart, but don't necessarily love everything he composes. I'm more of a romantic era girl (which will definitely show up in the next paragraph). Mozart's work was beautiful -- but some of the drama in this particular piece was lost on me. At least, that's my take on it.

And because this is being linked to other bloggers and some of the symphony members may be reading this, I'm going to shut up now. The last thing I want to sound like is a quasi-musician on the subject. I am, at best, minimally educated on the subject -- and my opinions about Mozart are no reflection on the performance last night -- it was amazing!

After the intermission, the final performance was the Italian Symphony by Mendelssohn. I was in Heaven!!! Masterfully executed. At one point, I closed my eyes -- and just let myself be sucked into this beautiful composition. You all have heard the first movement of this piece. . .

I wish the youtube video was of last night's performance. But alas, I can only do so much!

There were four movements in this piece. The second movement, I believe, was a piece where the basses never stopped moving the entire time. Even when all the other instruments had pauses, they kept the music moving along. That was fun. I would have enjoyed using that example in teaching. So many fun images that could have been taken from watching and listening to them.

The last movement was PHENOMENAL! As I listened, I tried to "map out" the rhythm and melody that the higher register instruments were playing. I couldn't. Ever watched a hummingbird's wings? That would be a perfect metaphor for their playing---moving so fast, you can hear, but cannot see it. It was amazing! And then, it was over.

Following the performance, there was a "bloggers" reception to meet each other, and some of the performers. Besides talking to a reporter from City View magazine, I got to meet Maestro Lucas Richman, Frank Murphy (Star 102.1), and Katie Gawne (principal violist) and she's also their blogger!

In this first picture, you see Stephanie and Jason talking to Frank Murphy. Our camera battery was running low, so we don't have nearly as many pictures as I would have liked.

As I said, Maestro Richman and Navah Perlman attended the "blogger reception" and spent quite a bit of time talking to us. Maestro Richman's definition of "bloggers" to the symphony audience was one of the most hilarious events of the night. (The majority remember the Great Depression. Get it?) He said that bloggers are ". . . people that, well, blog." 'Nuff said.

I really enjoyed meeting Katie Gawne. Katie and I share a couple common interests. . .she's also from Chicago!! We talked about the weather (really, we did) and how East Tennesseans don't know bad weather until they've experienced a real winter like we did growing up in No. Illinois. We also talked about our kids. I don't think I have the liberty to say anything more on here, but Katie and I have many shared experiences raising our daughters. Her daughter is just a few months younger than Caroline.

But the coolest part was feeling that immediate kinship with her as we talked. I've met other professional musicians in the past. And, no doubt, I will meet more in the future. It was a great reminder to me that, although they're living out a dream that I once had for myself, they're just as "normal" as I am. And yes, I'm using the term "normal" with some reservations. . .because I'm pretty far from normal, in my estimation.

It was a great evening. Beautiful music. Wonderful conversation. New acquaintances.

And, for those of you reading this because of the whole "blog" experience with the symphony? Welcome to my blog. It's pretty straightforward. I'm just a wife, mom, part-time church music director, scrapbooker, and aspiring quilter. I have this well-connected husband who put me in the right place at the right time.

For those of you (all nine of you) that read on a regular basis? I'll go back to my typical posts tomorrow. You know. . .recipes, anecdotes, and musings on raising two phenomenal kids and being married to a great guy who makes me laugh after 19 years.

Yep, back to the usual stuff.


Blogger Judy said...

What an awesome night you had. I don't know about anyone else but I enjoyed this post...and we are trying to stay warm up here. This morning it was -18° and has warmed up to 5°. I have errands to run and I'm dreading going out.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Glad you all had a great time last night. This seems like a normal post for you...I always enjoy them. Stay warm!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time... I also wanted to tell ya that my blog got spammed last night...yep, we "arrived"

4:56 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Hi, Angie! I very much enjoyed meeting and chatting with you last night, too. Funny, I looked at your profile and see that you are a quilter... I sew most of my daughter's clothes. Here is the link to my "other" site. It's not exactly private, I just don't link it to the symphony page.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Beautiful!! I bet it was just wonderful!

5:28 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Sounds like a great evening. And you're a much quicker poster than the other blogger in your family - although he did slam the humor door on you as far as the concert goes.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What a great night!!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Hilah said...

Sounds awesome! I love going to the symphony but it's been FOREVER!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

that sounds incredible. I would love to attend an event like that some day. I wish I had known about it ahead of time. :)

8:29 AM  

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