Monday, April 23, 2018

A remarkable new experience at 92!

Oh  I'd been to many concerts before, hundreds, maybe thousands if you count organ concerts at church. But I never had the almost out of body experience as I did recently at the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. I was literally "blown away" in a number of ways.

Most of my concert going has been in the nosebleed section where the sounds are blended and somewhat muted. From there,looking over a sea of patrons, we viewed the cooperative effort of anonymous and almost faceless performers. This time, however, Linda managed to get tickets that were not only in the Center Section, but were in the Second Row!

From the beginning of Bach;s Fugue for Strings I knew I was in a different world. As the violins began over here, there were violas over there and then they were joined by the cellos in the back. I could see the intensity of individual players and the effort exerted to fly their fingers over the strings and fling their bows in unison at their instruments. It was Stereo on Steroids live and in person!

But it only got better! As Leila Josefowicz played Stravinsky's Violin Concerto in F Minor just 15 feet from me, I saw unmitigated genius and dexterity at work.  Such concentration and intensity in blending mind, body and spirit!  She appeared to be dancing with her violin as her partner.

After the intermission we had the opportunity to concentrate on conductor Gianandres Noseda's and his magic fingers. Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments was apparently performed by flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, and a tuba. We couldn't tell because they were all hidden from us by the vacated chairs and music stands of the string section.  Truthfully to me, the music seemed to emanate from the fingers of the Conductor as he waved in various directions. As he turned to the audience to bow we could see the perspiration streaming from his face, and I was particularly warmed as, in response to my loud, "Bravado", he looked directly in my eyes in apparent appreciation.

But the climactic "climax" came with Mozart's Symphony Number 39 in E Flat Major. It was a chance for me to close my eyes and revel in beauty and contemplation. I thought of the effort and diligence of the performers and of the enjoyment  I shared with so many others.

But there was one added thing that drew my attention as I left my prized second row seat. I felt the need to greet more warmly a person in the first row. She was remaining until someone could escort her out. She was blind! How striking to learn from  our conversation that she had enjoyed the concert as much as I.

Yet another new/old experience

How thrilling on Easter Sunday to see once again Jesus Christ, Superstar; But in a totally different format and style on television. And for the first time three generations viewing it. The original performance heard by my young family so many years ago was so very meaningful to us. It was their Hamilton! They memorized every word. And here it was again bringing tears to us in a new exciting format.

I'm not sure though that I could tolerate anyone messing with 
Amahl and the Night Visitors

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