The new symphony season kicks off this weekend. Technically, the summer concert is the first concert of the new season, but this is the one with the big "society" glitz (for as glitzy as Montana gets). It's an odd mix at the concerts. Old and young. And lots of very overdressed people. This is Montana, people. Don't look down your snobby noses at the ones who show up in jeans and a t-shirt!
When did classical music get to be so stuffy? Back in the day, listening to your local orchestra was equivalent to listening to the band in your neighborhood bar. Attending an opera was no more different than going to the movies today. And there certainly was no dress code attached to either the audience or musicians. Black tuxes and formals for musicians?? So unnecessary! Even less so for the audience!
The ridiculousness is made even worse in this town. Inevitably, there's women who way overdress for the occasion. And while their husbands might not be in tuxes, they dress better than they do for business meeting! Why? To be uncomfortable in a hot auditorium, sitting for a couple of hours listening to music? No, it's so that they can be seen. And boy, do they make sure they're seen! Heavy mingling in the lobby. Standing at their seats (particularly the expensive ones), so that all can see that they support the symphony and they're right there.
I suppose I shouldn't complain. There's nothing worse than playing to a small audience. And their enthusiasm during fund-raising is what keeps me off the streets. But personally, I much prefer the audience for the summer concert. Everyone wears what the weather will allow. Far less pretentiousness. All the common folk sitting on the grass. Sorta like it was back in the day...
But I digress. We're playing Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Sometimes referred to as the Choral Symphony. Arguably the finest piece of music ever written. First time a choir was used in a symphony--all very daring. And they sing the "Ode to Joy". A tune that is almost universally recognized. Beethoven was deaf when he wrote it. One can only imagine what he was hearing in his head as his fingers wrote the composition. At some point, he must have forgotten that he didn't write much for the trombones. With the exception of a brief 60 seconds in the second movement, the trombones have to sit, unfidgeting, and appearing to be interested, for at least 50 minutes before getting to play. And when they do, it's just the men of the choir, the string basses and the bones. What could he have possibly been hearing at this point??
Obviously I have to work on my unfidgetingness. That would include no cell phone pics. This is from Saturday's rehearsal. Remember I mentioned that there were two rehearsals? This is from the first one. We didn't play until halfway through the second. Do I look bored from this shot? I was. The good part though...the trombones got a standing ovation from the woodwind section for coming in at the right time!
Years ago she would she would entertain us with her stories, tug at our hearts with her trials, but always bring a smile to our faces with her HNTs. To her, it was all about the art of the photography and never anything more: the curve of her hip, the details in the lace, the "Orion's Belt" line of freckles on her chest. She hid behind a cloak of anonymity, skittish kitty that she was, and then one day disappeared without a trace. I've always kept in touch with her and as the years have passed, our friendship has grown. I'm her Rascal. She won't be revealing herself but to those long time HNT'ers who pay close attention to certain clues, you'll know who she is. Know that she is doing well these days and still stops by every now and then to say hello.
As usual, a wide and varied collection of pictures over at "...the Other HNT". Be sure to stop by and check out your fellow HNTers! Remember...NSFW!
A new chapter in the OsShirt saga is up over at its site. It's the kick-off to the summer fun!
Still open to suggestions for where to go with my ticket voucher. It's got to be used in the continental U.S. (sorry Moose), and wherever Delta flies (which is just about anywhere, I think). There's a location that is currently at the top of the list, but I could possibly be talked into someplace else. Looking at the end of January/early February, in case there's something going on that I simply shouldn't miss!