None of us are sure if we’ll make this concert. Dad has all the tickets, Ann has extra work to do over the weekend, and Dad and Sarah are fighting off some kind of virus. When the evening comes, though, all of us make it Boettcher Concert Hall, find each other and our tickets, and sit down for some music. The circumstances give the evening a fortuitous feel. We’re here, and now I have no idea what we’re going to hear.
Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1, Georges Enesco At first it seems this is going to be a pleasant, happy, slightly flowery piece. Slowly a little bit of a lilt creeps in, as if the whole orchestra had a shot of vodka before coming on stage, and is starting to get a bit carried away. Slowly they give way to the mania, cutting loose into a frenzied, cartoonish roller coaster ride. My mouth stretches involuntarily into a wide grin.
Violin Concerto, Samuel Barber This piece has escaped me, like I’m trying to remember a dream. The first violinist of the orchestra, YuMi Hwang-Williams, played the solo part. I felt supportive of her, the star of my home team. I know the piece was beautiful and enthralling, full of subtle changes of mood that held my attention completely. I remember being surprised at how much I liked it, but now I can’t remember a bit of the music.
Petrouchka, Igor Stravinsky Stravinsky composed this just before his infamous Rite of Spring. It seems like this piece would have been equally capable of producing riots in Paris at the time. The primal rhythms and disjointed transitions give it a sense of nature, where wind may come one second, then birds chasing each other steal your attention, only to be interrupted by a chirping marmot. I enjoy these kinds themes, but they take energy to engage in, and I eventually faltered. Still, I’m glad to have had a chance to hear this kind of Stravinsky piece performed live.