I just got back from a surprise concert, courtesy of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and my friend/wife Fatima. (I say "surprise" because I had no idea she was taking me to see a TSO concert and I was woefully under-dressed, but that's not important.) It was stunning!
Three pieces were performed: Suite No. 2 from Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat
, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
(Astor Piazzolla/Arr. Desyatnikov) and Igor Stravinsky's Petrouchka
(excerpts from the toned-down 1947 version). It was a two hour concert at Roy Thomson Hall, our seats were decent, the music was awesome, and all for six bucks.
It makes me kind of sad that I never kept up with strings in high school, because no matter how many times I hear that first A note, it always feels like discovery.The Three-Cornered Hat
was really lively and vivacious, which I liked. Petrouchka
was also very rousing, but I felt like the music was only telling me half the story. I spent at least half the time trying vainly to figure out what each part was supposed to mean that I didn't really enjoy the music in and of itself. I think because it was composed as part of a ballet, I would have needed to see it performed as a ballet in order to appreciate it to its full extent.
But the Piazzolla pieces, holy
. We heard the pieces in the order Primavera Portena, Verano Porteno, Invierno Porteno, Otono Porteno
, which, as the conductor explained to us, was completely different from the order appearing in the programme, but whatever. I saw the words "Otono Porteno" and had a mental flailgasm because, a la cherishedsaulie
, OH MY GOD STEPHAAAANE. But actually, my favourite piece was Invierno Porteno
. The solo violinist, one Nadja Salemo-Sonnenberg*, was unbelievable. Listening to her as she coaxed the sound out of her violin was the most exquisite torture imaginable, the notes straining and swelling up to resonate in that one special place within
I really enjoyed the concert - there's no substitute for seeing something done with artistry, done well
, live in front of you. It was fantastic. ♥
*ALSO SHE WORE SPARKLY PANTS. IT WAS AWESOME.