Friday, September 4, 2009
I am so thankful the weather held up this evening. The whole afternoon was rainy but I am glad that Symphony Under the Sky could go ahead as planned this evening. The grass was slick but refreshing and all my lawn chair neighbors were lovely and excellent company as we tucked into our blankets for warmth throughout the performance.
Delightful and pleasing Classical pieces were on the program as well as some vivacious Gershwin. The first piece was O Canada and I always enjoy how a musical audience is never afraid to step up and sing the national anthem when prompted.
A Night on the Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky was next and it was extremely entertaining to listen to. There was so much flare to the performance and it just sounded like the string players had such a colorful swagger as they were playing. There was just a vibrant quality to the whole performance which made me excited for the whole weekend and the other musical offerings I would be treated to in the next few days. The brass section was also excellent with their commanding and sparkling sound. It was also very fitting at the end of the piece, when there were echoing chimes and quiet soaring melodies to mimic the entrance of dawn, the sun also was finally emerging after the afternoon storm.
Following Mussorgsky was Mendelssohn's Italian Opera. It was delightful and my Mom was excited to hear something she recognized. By far my favorite movement was the second one, the Andante con moto, since I really enjoyed the interplay of sound between the strings and the brass. It just felt like they were engaged in a very relaxing but enjoyable dance with one another.
Of course, watching William Eddins play Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F was the highlight of the evening. Eddins naturally radiates infectious energy and this is extends to his playing. He plays with power, but with great flexibility, and it just looks like his torso is just another bodily attachment as his fingers have a life of their own. The music would send shockwaves through his body as he was just another expressive vessel for the great entity that is music. He just has so much potential energy that the kinetic explosion of stored energy fuels his power and electric stamina throughout the piece. It was mesmerizing to watch his fingers and arms move faster than my eyes could follow. His arms and hands just turned into a blur of motion. Pretty good for a man who had just finished traveling from Capetown South Africa!
Overall, I had a fantastic evening outside. Sure, the weather was a bit chill but I was bundled up and listening to some fantastic music. Sometimes when music is that good you just forget where you are and the weather doesn't feel so cold after all.