Thanks to the quick-dialling Dayment, Viv and I attended the symphony this evening. In case that link evaporates, the program featured violinist Joshua Bell in front of a New York-based ensemble, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. There were four works performed. Bell’s featured piece was the violin concerto.
Sibelius: Suite from Pelleas et Melisande
Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor
Sofia Gubaidulina: Concordanza
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1, Op. 25, “Classical”
I enjoyed all of them. The Gubaidulina was, strangely, a special treat. It’s a 1971 work, composed in Russia, and the dissonant bleeping and hissing and squawking is exactly the sonic employment of stage orchestral instrumentation that is sadly absent on the internet classical station we’ve been listening to. I have really missed hearing twentieth century orchestral stuff, especially late at night.
I got some good thinking done, as well, about a variety of subjects. Sadly, however, my right ear is utterly clogged with wax and let’s just say that the balance was off. Right now it hurts like hell, and I am a bit dizzy. I really need to make an appointment with the doctor to get it irrigated but I really do not have time until this weekend.
I should note here that Josh Bell came of age in Bloomington and I have memories of him being friends with people in my sister’s social circle. I believe that he and his family may have attended the same church that my family did, for a while at least. He did not attend the same schools as other kids his age in town. As I recall it, his family had moved to town in order to provide their gifted child with access to an important violin instructor, and Josh was engaged in studying with this maestro full time from pre-adolescence. My recollection, however, appears to be wrong, as Bell’s site notes that he was born in Bloomington.
I’m sure my mother will help fill in the details.