Saturday night I attempted to get a little culture. I went to the Symphony concert.
The program started with four songs by Benjamin Britten that are part of the opera “Peter Grimes.” I had no knowleddge of this opera so I was glad I had gotten there early enough for the pre-concert lecture. These four songs were meant to represent the sea and the area in East Anglia where Britten lived. That brought memories of being in England in 2002, I think it was, for a pen pal meeting. I went home with one of my penpals for a few days after the meeting. She and her husband took me to the area where Britten had lived. We toured the theater he had started. I remember thinking when I said good-by to them at the train station I might not see them again. That has proven to be true. She has passed away and her husband no longer keeps in touch with her pen friends.
The next piece was by Shostokovich and was a cello concerto. The guest soloist was very talented and played with vim and vigor. He swayed and sawed away with a vengeance. He’d finish off sections with a big flourish, flinging his bow hand up and out … nearly hitting the assistant concertmistress in the face with his bow. The first time he did that, the audience all took a deep breath which could be heard in the auditorium. After that he restrained himself a teeny bit but it’s a wonder he didn’t hit her.
The second half of the program was a Rachmaninoff symphony, the last piece he had composed. It, too, was very well done.
All in all, it was a nice evening. I was entertained and educated all at the same time.