Tuesday I took the best photo i've taken in a long time, I'll post it in a few days. Then trillian_stars and I went to the symphony with the Blackselrods, which was wonderful. JR Blackwell's father was singing in the choir, Trillian was in a lovely Kambriel dress.
I love being in the Kimmel center, it always feels like there's an event happening. We nestled down in the front row (fo shizzle) next to a very kind and erudite WWII vet and were getting comfortable when the 1st Cellist gets up to introduce the concert and says: "Often while I'm riding the train home from a concert someone will stop me and say Did you actually like that first piece you played? -- It sounded like nought more than noise! and I have to think about my relationship with atonal music." At which point I had a mild seizure -- Sweet barking cheese! I thought, DID I GET THE FREAKING DATES WRONG? IS THIS NOT DVORAK'S NEW WORLD SYMPHONY?" and, flipping manically through the program I saw that I, indeed HAD screwed the dates up and we were in for an atonal evening of Mahler and Berg. "GOOD GOD!" I scrawled on the program and waved it at Trillian WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE! but no sooner had I stood to flee and the music started.
And you know, it actually wasn't that bad. I found Berg, atonal though he may be, much more melodic than his teacher, Schernberg (sp?) who I despise with a passion. I actually enjoyed the concert a great deal, watching the expressions on the musicians, hearing the minutest pluck of a string. His "three pieces for orchestra" were all moody and, several of us pointed out later, not unlike a film score. I could imagine action taking place in front of such tumblings and burblings.
The second half of the show was Mahler's Das Klagen Liede which was about a queen who hides a flower in the woods and says she'll marry the person who finds it. A nice young man discovers it, but foolishly puts it in his hat and falls asleep in a clearing. His brother comes upon him there and murders him, taking the flower and marrying the queen. Later, a minstrel comes by and finds the leg bone of the dead man and makes a flute from it (I kid you not) and when he plays it, the flute sings "My brother murdered me and married the queen". The concerned youth takes his flute to the palace where the king snatches it from him and toots on it himself. What do you think the flute does? It plays "You murdered me! I am the leg bone of your dead brother!" and then the house collapses, killing everyone.
One thing I did find clever was that there were maybe 20 orchestra pieces off stage ... somewhere and when the main orchestra became silent, sometimes you could hear them -- distant and far off, like an echo, a response from the spirit world perhaps.
Anyhoo, there was a wonderful boys choir (well, four kids) and it was nice to watch them, looking very professional and then, it seemed, being very happy and maybe slightly overwhelmed at the ovations at the end. I must admit, I applauded mostly for them and not much for Mahler.
When I got back home I discovered that in the space of four hours, I had become as sick as a dog, as had Trillian. I didn't do much today but lay around and moan. I feel a little better now, but I'm still coughing like mad and my nose is ... well, the less you know about that, the better.