Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ordinary People

Today I was reminded that the musicians of the NSO are really people just like the rest of us.  A friend and I went to an NSO rehearsal this morning.

It seemed so odd to see the performers in jeans and sneakers instead of their black-tie attire.  If they weren’t playing in a particular piece or movement, they felt free to leave the stage.  They had their pencils handy to mark their scores.  It was a working session.

The three pieces on the program were by Barber, Beethoven, and Sibelius (ranging from 1798 to 1936 in terms of their composition).  The real treat was hearing Emanual Ax play the piano in the Beethoven concerto.

I was surprised that for the most part they played a piece in its entirety and then went back to fine-tune a few spots.  But the musicians generally seemed to come well prepared with little need to make corrections.

We decided that most of the people on that stage really must love what they were doing.  I know that the politics of running an orchestra do get in the way of the enjoyment of the music sometimes, but while they are playing I’m sure that thoughts of other than the music get set aside.

I slipped out a little early to enjoy yet another birthday lunch with my friend Betty before heading off for a piano lesson.  I think music gets my endorphins going just as exercise does.  Between all that music and a cappuccino after lunch, I was on top of the world much of the day.


Blogger Gary said...

This seems like a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. For me, I enjoy the rehearsal process in plays/musicals. You are right about the business getting in the way sometimes but when you are in that creative zone (as you know being a musician yourself) it is pure bliss. Everything else falls away.

So glad that you are extending your birthday celebrations.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It sounds like a wonderful day. There's really something about seeing people do what they love and doing it well. Music always gives me a rush.

4:37 PM  

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