Oh my. I am thankful for Beethoven!
AKA - A layman's review
I had never been to a symphony before Friday evening and when our son invited us, I was mostly just excited to spend time with him. Even looking back on my blog about it, I notice that I wrote about what was happening before and after the symphony, but nothing significant about the symphony.
We thought we were getting there plenty early, but by the time we arrived the parking lot was packed. So much so that we had to drive over a curb to park in a grassy area. We wouldn't have even thought of doing that, but there were a bazillion cars parked along there already.
I was overwhelmed at the beauty of the 9th Symphony, as well as the outstanding performance of those involved. Beethoven was deaf when he composed that piece and as it unfolded with all of its intricacies and complexities, I became more and more aware of what an incredible gift God had given him.
Watching and listening to the orchestra was completely delightful. I was close enough to the front of the auditorium to watch the bows quiver as they ran across the strings and later, the stitches in the mezzo soprano's golden sparkley dress. Don't worry though, the sound was superb. The concert hall has outstanding acoustics and apparently there are very few bad seats in the house.
This was the first symphony ever written to include vocals. On Friday, for most of the symphony, the choir just sat in chairs behind and on either side of the orchestra and listened to them play. Then, I believe between the second and third movements, the soprano--with the china-doll face, wearing a satiny red formal, the mezzo soprano in a golden dress with a bodice full of glitter and just one shoulder strap (like on the Flinstones, only classy), and the tenor and baritone in handsome tuxedos followed the conductor onto the stage...and sat down in chairs in front of the orchestra. They sat, and sat, and sat, and looked lovely, and sat, and seemed to be enjoying the music very much.
Then...they stood up, and all of the other singers stood up and the conductor began to direct their voices as though they were instruments too and what followed was a most spectacular performance of "Ode to Joy." There was one point at which the sopranos held a particularly loud note (and I believe my friend said it was an A of some sort) for a particularly long time that bothered my husband's bad ear very much, and it was around that time, when the sounds of the voices seemed almost chaotic to me, that I was reminded of the CD called "God's Cricket Chorus." Though as I listen to it now, I realize it is quite different.
It truly was a delightful experience. When it was over, I wanted it to begin again and when I found out it was going to be performed again on Saturday night in a nearby town, I wanted to go again, but the lease on our coach would be up before then and we had far too many miles to travel to try to make it home in a pumpkin.
P.S. If I did wear glass footwear, they would be Birkenstocks.