Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Did Art

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)Between swimming right after the Senior Swim group and going to the symphony and turning 39, I pretty much call those folks 59 and a half ‘my people’. Now see… gave away the punch and story line – I went to the symphony. 

I’m not a stranger to the symphony but I don’t go as often as I should (once every decade) because the music IS good and it’s art which like anything else, is pretty hard when you’re at the top of the game. 

And yea, I did sit there going, these people are the easily the artistic equivalent of sub 2:30 marathoners.

So we went out for a quick dinner about 45 mins before the concert started, which was pretty impressive – showing up at a restaurant without reservations, getting a table and then saying ‘um, we need to be out of here in 40 mins’.  Even more impressive was that it worked and we didn’t looking like cartoons shoving food in our pie-holes and then running out the door.

I think the symphony is the last place in Seattle where people actually respect the work enough to look nice, it’s also the only place where if you’re under 60, you feel out of place.  But it wasn’t terrible and neither were our seats – it was just shocking to see no one wearing a Seattle Mariners hat, a Seahawks jersey and not a single pair of jeans. 

We went to see Yefim Bronfman Plays Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 which we didn’t actually see.  But we did see the first 3 pieces:

Joseph Schwantner: The Poet’s Hour…a soliloquy for violin and strings "reflections on Thoreau" {World Premiere}

Foote: Francesca da Rimini

Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

With iPods and CDs’s and all of the ways we have to enjoy music, the symphony is pretty different.  The sound is amazing – even with all of the old people coughing at the quiet parts.  The hard part is knowing when it’s over or when it’s close to being over or where you are in the whole thing.  The first 2 pieces were good, not too long and because we had just sat down – the hard parts of our bottoms were not yet sound asleep.  The couple next to us in the box to the left were soundly slumbering by the time Brahms got his fair shake.  And that’s when we were sort of wanting to do some crunches or a short run.  Given the length, we could have done both.  The Brahms was good, but it was 4 parts and although I studied music I sort of got lost and just clapped when other people did and listened in between. 

G liked the big oboe.  And yea, it’s also called a bassoooon. 

Then the best part –the intermission in the founder’s room. 

So if you know someone or someone fancy knows you, you can get a pass to the founder’s room which has…. free nuts, dove chocolates and red/white wine!  The hard part was finding it – but not really.  We were told where it was but also alternatively, follow the old people walking really fast. 

They were spot on.  We saw walkers, canes, wheel chairs, rascal scooters and all sorts of hunchbacked ladies throwing down a solid 10 min mile pace to the free wine and nuts.  We got to the room and were shocked to see a room full of people talking to each other and not a single familiar glow of people on their phones or texting or checking the weather or logging into some site saying ‘I’m here being somewhat more important than 2,000 other people with my iPhone’.  I think it was the less than noble quality of the wine or the fact that it was 9pm but we were beat and made a halftime call to forfeit and head home.  Because it’s classical music and 2,003 people care about it, you can hear the concert live on the radio and that was when our call to go was just perfect. 

I think it’s best to probably compare Prokokfiev to Iron Maiden.  There is some good stuff and there is some other stuff that doesn’t work for everyone because there are a lot of notes and it’s loud and I’m pretty sure someone was angry and it’s a lot to absorb on a Thursday night after 9pm.  Plus, I’m not keen on communists.  Ever.

So there.

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