I am the alpha and the omega
March 19, 2005
Durrell's Parameter
The faster the plane, the narrower the seats.

The interview, well, it went decently well. I could have done better; frankly, nervousness took the better part of me. The questions were quite easy, and in any other situation, I would have answered them properly. Will know the results in another three-four days.

The symphony orchestra, amazing. My first symphony ever, and probably the better one. Having arrived just in time for the packed symphony (Rule: Go late, and you cannot enter.), I felt out of place as the only person wearing a fleece jacket, with all the others coming in full formals. Remind me the next time I go. The seats I had got were in the mezzaine, approximately the 10th row from the front and in the middle.
And according to a veteran who comes regularly, it was one of the better seats, acoustically. (In a concert hall, acoustics are very important, because there are no speakers as such, you only hear what they play. )

The line up was Beethoven's Romance No. 2 in Violin, followed by the New Angles by Harris, an intermission (due to the sheer length of Symphony No.9) and followed by the 70 minute long Beethoven's Symphony No.9 including a choral in the end.

On the dot, 5 minutes after 8, the lights dimmed, and the performers tuned their insturments, which were solely violins, in all sizes from the micro-small to the ultra-large. And a silent hush descended on the audience. Sweet melodies, forming an aural treat, permeated the hall. A vivid calmness spread everywhere, and ears tuned to listen to the delightful music. Me surrounded solely by old, very old, people helped me concentrate more on the music, than the audience. The Romance No.2 was delightful and soft, evoking emotions of youthful playfulness and nostalgia. A short one, it ended in about 15 minutes. After the ovation to the leading violinist, David Brickmann, the next performance started.

The second one, New Angels, is, supposed to be, what the composer thought of the moments of anguish and pain during the months following 9/11. A bit discordant, with sudden sharpness and echoing loudness interspersed by clear smooth music, make it not the highly ranked ones. The surprising thing about this composition, is the number of instruments: violins, large and small, drums, cello, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, tuba, trompone, a piano, and even a harp. This was the first time I ever saw a harp, being used in an orchestra.

An intermission was allowed after this, just to prepare us for the aural onslaught and the performers to get refreshed.
Quoted by Irving Kolodin about Symphony No. 9:
... the d minor Symphony is both an end and a beginning. It is the end - because it is the last - of what he could do, symphonically; but it is only the beginning of what he did, symphonically. The first refers to the end of his effort as an individual; hte second takes in what his effort as an individual conferred on others to follow.
At 70 minutes, its sheer length daunts even the most adept artists, and drains the individual listening to it. You can listen to its four parts here. Sudden surprises in the middle, like sharp pauses, shift of tones, change of moods and the coup de théâtre, the 100 person choral, all create a sublime experience for the listener. The fourth part, the choral, was actually composed of three different choral groups and it was quite amazing (I was and am at a loss of words.)
I was in cloud nine at the end of it.

A standing ovation that lasted for five minutes at the end of the exhausting performance left everyone in a very good mood. The conductor Peter Bay performed an amazing job with it.

Two hours of heavenly music, well worth the time and money spent.

Posted by satosphere at 3:31 PM


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