"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Night at the Symphony

As a piano performance major in college, I spent a number of hours not only playing but listening to classical music, whether it was on records (if anybody remembers what those were) in the campus library or live at the functions we were required to attend. But for the last 20+ years of my life, while I have hit a few performances at The Fox in Atlanta, most of my husband and my activities have revolved around T-ball, baseball, LOTS of basketball, track, and even a season of football. So having all the children married now, we enjoyed an evening at the symphony last Thursday night – The Atlanta Symphony. And what a delight it was.

The Assistant Conductor for the evening was Mei-Ann Chen, a tiny thing that didn’t even look powerful enough to hold the reins of a docile horse, much less handle the likes of the seasoned musicians before her. However, I knew the moment she took her place and I saw the way she grounded herself to the floor, this woman was not only capable but was in complete control and charge.

The orchestra’s first work was Antonin Dvorak’s exciting showpiece, Carnival Overture, Opus 92. For the entire nine minutes of the piece, I kept telling myself, “Don’t ‘whoop’ at the end. Don’t ‘whoop.’ Whatever you do, don’t ‘whoop.’” How embarrassing that would be at the symphony where the mood is somewhat like that of the Master’s Golf Tournament! No talking; no “whooping.” And you sure better not get up and go to the bathroom until intermission! But the piece was absolutely mesmerizing to me. Dvorak said himself that the Carnival Overture was meant to portray “a lonely, contemplative wanderer reaching at twilight a city where a festival is in full swing.” As the men and women in their black dresses and tuxes played, brilliant orchestral colors abounded. There were times when I sat on the end of my seat when the clangor of instruments gave the impression of shouts of joy and unrestrained pleasure of the people as they gave way to their feelings of song and dance. At other times, huge tears spilled over my eyelids as the English horn and flute played a haunting theme that was meant to portray a pair of straying lovers. Oh, even now, be still my soul. And then the piece culminated in an exhilarating coda as the energetic and almost unruly music returned.

And what did I do?


Yes!!! Praise You, Lord!!!

1 comment:

Christi said...

Nancy, I just love you!!! I can see you "whooping"! Just an Ordinary Moment, "In Nancy's World"!