A few weeks ago I received an email from the Symphony inviting me to attend an open rehearsal this morning. Since I don’t have a ticket to tonight’s concert — it is being broadcast on the radio so I can listen then if I want — I decided to go. I emailed my RSVP and was sent a ticket. It said the doors opened at 9 a.m. and I assumed that meant the rehearsal would start at 10 a.m.
Refreshments were going to be available so I had intentions of arriving shortly after 9 a.m. Well, we all know where good intentions lead and I didn’t arrive at the symphony hall until about 9:45 a.m. I was still in time to get a Danish although I skipped the coffee, used the restroom and went in to find a seat. Although we had tickets, it was open seating.
I settled down to listen. The first part of the program was a piece by Sibelius with a solo by the English horn. The soloist was an orchestra member and there was some back and forth discussion about “warming up” the light on her. That got settled and the piece was played. I’m always amazed at how the conductor can pinpoint the exact measure which needs to be corrected. It’s a mystery to me how he can know that the cellos need to do something in measure xxx. I suppose it comes from knowing the music so thoroughly. It all sounds fine to me but then I’m not conducting it and don’t have the score in front of me.
Once they got the Sibelius worked out to their satisfaction, they moved on to the next number on the program. This was a piece by John Adams, a very contemporary composer. Our conductor is a good friend of his and is enamored with his music. To me, it sounds like so much noise. Sadly, I find that true of most really modern music. But eventually they worked out their issues with that piece and took an intermission.
The last part of the concert was a symphony by a Russian composer whose name I can’t spell. It starts with a P if you want to hazard a guess. I’ll probably recognize it if I see it printed. The music was much more to my liking and I was glad I had stayed through the intermission. I had given thought to leaving.
So, all in all, I heard a good free concert this morning. It was one of the perks for buying season tickets.