Friday, June 04, 2010

Cultural Outing

On Monday afternoon as Deborah and I took a lesson with our friend Bill of the NSO, I could hear his wife practicing the oboe upstairs.  It was a hauntingly beautiful melody that sounded familiar, but I couldn’t name it.
“Scheherazade,” he said.  He went on to say the NSO was playing it this week at the last concert conducted by Ivan Fischer.  He suggested the matinee today might be a good choice because they are not selling out these days.
With a little help from our friends, my husband signed us up for a list-serve that offers reduced cost tickets for NSO performances.  Sure enough we were able to get center orchestra seats for $25.  In fact we could have gotten complimentary tickets if we had just waited until yesterday.
So today was a cultural outing.  We had lunch with our list-serve friends before the matinee, which featured Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
I much preferred the first half, which put me somewhere in the Russian Steppes listening to tales of the Arabian Nights.  The solo violin passages were exquisite, reaching notes I hardly knew existed.  It was interesting to see how the various instruments contributed to this exciting piece.
I was reminded in places of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exposition, written in same era and set in Russia as well.  In both pieces the clashing cymbals and pounding drums evoke a sense of drama.  You carry away the sweet melodies that get stuck in your head.
Like the sound of an upstairs oboe that lured me to the NSO concert today.


Blogger Cyndy said...

It must have been wonderful to hear that concert yesterday. I'm looking forward to playing Scheherazade later this month. Hopefully Deborah will be joining us as well!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It reads like it sounds like a beautiful day.

10:53 PM  

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