Last night, I went to the symphony with some old friends who are still some of the most lovely people I know to hear this:
(Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5—please listen if you have time, so absolutely beautiful)
Tchaikovsky is brilliant, to say the least. This piece was the second half of the program, right after intermission, and featured the winds prominently (perhaps that is why I loved it so much?), especially the clarinet. I loved the variation of single soloists, soaring orchestra moments, and the extreme contrast of dynamics within the piece. This symphony has four movements: Andante/Allegro con anima, Andante cantabile, Allegro Moderato (which is a waltz in ABA form), and the Finale. The video I included is the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but the Atlanta Symphony pretty much knocked it out of the park. There is something so enticing about a live orchestra that just completely reminds me how much I love music and why I decided to add Music Performance as a second major.
We also saw this, before intermission:
(Sibelius Violin Concerto—BREATHTAKING.)
Now, let me just say this. Violinists possess quite an ego. I mean, if they’re good, I don’t know how they wouldn’t. It’s difficult enough to attempt to play a string instrument, let alone excel at it. String players have always amazed me, and if I could properly play the violin (or better yet, the cello—certainly my favorite string instrument), I would deem my life as successful. Anyways, this concerto is wicked hard, and, since Sibelius knew that violinists need to show off, he included numerous moments where the soloist could sufficiently do so. I’m talking super exposed moments, extremely high notes that are held (with the perfect vibrato) for several measures (at pianissimo, no less!), and fast licks that completely blow the audience out of the water. Let’s just say I was one of the first people to jump to my feet. Impressive.
The video above is Maxim Vengerov with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Already can’t wait for my next symphony trip!