Saturday at the Symphony

Saturday night I went to the Symphony. The ticket was one I was given in exchange for a ticket to a concert I had to miss because of being ill. I’m so glad I got a ticket to this concert! The program didn’t sound all that wonderful at first but I agreed to accept that ticket because Christine Brewer, a wonderful soprano, was the guest artist.

The conductor did his pre-concert lecture. He is SO interesting and makes you understand what you’re hearing later. At the end of his talk, he told us he had been in San Diego the previous weekend. He did a talk before the program. His 80-some uncle was there. Afterwards, his uncle told him, “David, your talk was interesting but I don’t think about that stuff. I just listen to the emotions of the music.” With a laugh he left us with that thought while he changed for the concert.

The first 20 minutes was Prayers of Kierkegaard. I was disappointed that Christine wasn’t featured more and thought to myself, “They just traded on her name to get a bigger crowd.”

The second portion of the evening was Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “Resurrection.” I’m not familiar with Mahler’s music and somehow had thought I wouldn’t like it. I was wrong. This was beautiful and even though it’s 80 minutes in length, the time didn’t seem long. Christine was featured again in this number and, as the reviewer in the newspaper said, her voice soared above the orchestra and chorus.

Before the orchestra played the Mahler, Amy Kaiser, the director of the Symphony Chorus, gave a short talk, announcing that the evening’s program was dedicated to the manager of the Chorus who passed away in March. What a beautiful tribute she gave to a man who had been involved with the Chorus for 30 years. The choice of the music was a very fitting tribute although no one knew that’s what it would be when the programs were selected and set some months ago.

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