Friday, May 27, 2011

Wonderful concert tonight!

I have been weaving non-stop until today when I cut the lawns, front and back, did some digging out in the front perennial garden where I replaced a large upright rosemary that died this winter with a smoke tree.  The leaves are a red-purple and it will get to be pretty big but I am hoping that it won't resent my trimming it back to keep it shorter than the 15 feet its tag predicted.  Where the other upright rosemary was (a lot of things that keep their leaves through the winter died all over town this winter) I planted another.  The first one started out as little more than a twig and was over knee high and well-filled out when it perished so I hope this one will thrive, too.

I did errands (Home Depot to buy hardware to repair my wheelbarrow), Costco for food, etc.  In the end I didn't get any weaving done at all today and am bone weary tonight but exhilarated, too.

The exhilaration comes from the Utah Symphony concert I just attended.  I usually go on Saturday evenings but a conflict required that I switch my ticket for tonight.  I wouldn't have willingly missed this one.

It began with Ives' Three Places in New England.  It was evocative of what I know of New England and rather delightful but not the star of the evening.  The concert was billed as Rite of Spring, the last piece on the program, but I was looking forward to hearing R. Strauss' Four Last Songs.  Our soprano was Janice Chandler Eteme.  Wow.  I know Four Last Songs pretty well, have several recordings of it and love it.  She sang wonderfully.  I turned to a friend and said "Imagine opening your mouth and having something like that come out!"  Her voice is lustrous and made me think of heavy silk charmeuse, smooth and shining and lovely.  It was a sort of deep amber and wonderful.  She is elegant looking and regal which only added to the experience for me.

FLS was Stauss' last composition and we can only hope that we create something wonderful at the end or our lives.  The poems (three by Herman Hesse and one by Joseph von Eichendorff) are "Spring", "September", "Going to Sleep" and "Sunset" respectively.  They describe, in a way, the arc of a life.  The words of the last, "Im Abendorf" in original German, are quietly accepting, even welcoming of death.  Some say they show resignation, but I think that isn't quite right because there seems to be no resistance or sense giving up.  If there is ever a memorial service for me; I think the fourth song would be perfect.

The last piece on the program was Rite of Spring.  What a contrast to the quiet, introspective FLS!  A long time ago I saw the ballet in Paris.  It was wild and exciting and also horrifying.  The music, in the end, depicts the sacrifice of a young girl, a horrible thing to contemplate.  The music, though, is amazing and tonight it was played so well.  The orchestra was a full strength with two bass clarinets, two contrabasoons  and a base flute, instruments we don't often see or hear.

I went to the pre-concert lecture which was packed.  The more I see and hear from our new conductor, Thierry Fischer, the happier I am that he has come here.  And I started out pretty happy....

Sad to say, the bagpiper was out front after the concert again.  That instrument was designed to be heard over great distances and when the distance is only 15 feet it is overpowering. 

I will return to weaving tomorrow and there will be pictures.......

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