The difference between listening to Beethoven's 8th and seeing Beethoven's 8th is the difference between watching freeway traffic and being run over by a car. Great balls of socks, it was awesome. Sitting right there watching the violin players intently from our vantage point, I was also acutely aware, as you're not when you're listening to a recording, of the placement of the instruments and the questions that one section asks that are answered by someplace far away. It was really marvelous. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was the guest conductor.
One of the violin players captivated us -- this guy with a goatee and curly hair. During intermission we were both like (half jokingly) "that guy's one of us, we should totally catch him after the show and buy him a drink."
The second part of the show was excerpts from Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and before it started, one of the first cellists got up and announced that the program was almost cancelled because the solo bass baritone got sick ten hours before the show. So they frantically got on the Internet, found someone in Florida (the very talented and great looking Tom Fox) who knew the part, got him on an airplane and zoom, up to philly. And he was fantastic. How exciting!
So after the show, right as we stepped out into the street a door opens and there's that violinist with the goatee! So, seizing the moment, I said "Hey! you were awesome, can we buy you a drink?" and he said "NO, but I can buy you one! I'm having a party right across the street!" So he invited us to his house / party / houseparty which was filled with musicians, designers, models and photographers and about six tons of fantabulous just spilled out across the floor.
Jason Depue is a rock star classical musician like Vitalij Kuprij is a rock star classical musician, and it totally gave us hope for the future of classical music.
The mysterious bass baratone didn't show up, but tenor soloist Jeffery Halili was there and a (what's the collective noun for violinists?) string of violinists and other members of the orchestra.
it was a stupefyingly awesome party and a really fabulous night all together.
Woohoo Beethoven! Now go score yourself some cheap tickets to your local orchestra, it'll be fabulous!