Saturday, December 08, 2007

Return to the Symphony

It has been many months since I've been to a Grand Classics concert. My fiancee (recent development) and I had dinner in the cultural district, the head to Heinz Hall. While looking on to a violin, flute, harp trio, we were greeted by a friend, the first of several for the evening. Of those who greeted us, some had not seen us since our engagement, and several had not seen me since my deployment to Afghanistan. The greetings were joyful and full of warmth. Even though I have not been in Pittsburgh that long, being greeted like that helps in calling this city my home.

It had been a long and tiring week for me, and I was not up to listening actively to the pieces like I usually do. Tonight was to let the sounds go by, and sense what I may. Corigliano came on stage before the concert to introduce his piece, discussing the style that was to come and all of the characters whose voices would be present. Normally I eat this up. Tonight, I was just too tired.

And as the orchestra made its way into "Phatasmagoria," I listened. I listened to ghosts speaking to one another across time. To voices remembering past glories, and dwelling on sadness. In the Elgar cello concerto I listened to a cellist and orchestra in dialog, sometimes supporting, sometimes sounding like questioning.

We head out after intermission (I really was tired) But on the way out we ran into dear friends who I had not seen since last spring. We talked of love and marriage, of going to war and return (interesting as a quick reading of the program tells me that the Elgar concerto was written with the backdrop of World War I). All the things of life, and strangely enough, a fit accompaniment to the program.
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