Thursday, December 17, 2009

THE END OF AN ERA

Last Saturday was our final concert of the year.  The theme for the evening:  The End of An Era.  Theme chosen because the VC Theatre is being torn apart for some major remodeling.  The reconstruction is planned to take a year and a half.

My family and a couple of our friends came to the concert.  I played the clarinet (of course) only during the first two pieces.  Both were Christmas pieces and they were beautiful.  As the evening progressed there were fewer and fewer concert members participating.  At intermission they set up the stage to include the VC choir.  I was excited to hear what they were going to perform.

Much to my dismay and embarasement the program they chose was high reaching and if the moon was their goal, they didn't even reach the tree tops.  Victor sat next to me not enjoying himself and every once in a while he would throw looks of disgust my way.

I turned to see how my friend, Linda was doing.  Her look was similar to mine and we both burst into laughter.  Her husband was sitting next to her with a mixed look of disgust and concern.  I think he was trying to figure out how he was going to leave the auditorium without being noticed.

Being polite, we sat through to the very end.  An activity I do not wish to repeat any time soon.

As we were leaving I was talking to my friend Linda and we were talking about the rest of the weekend plans and I expressed my dismay over being too tired to finish decorating and how my body was aching.

John suggested to Victor that he provide the services of a massage so that I may feel better.

Victor exclaimed:  "I don't think so!  My EARS HURT!!!!"

Of course we all started laughing.

Yesterday morning I was listening to the great composer quiz and the text follows:

This time it’s a Quiz about making the most of unpleasant surroundings. When this Great Composer traveled to Italy, he didn’t much like it. Well, the countryside charmed him, but not the culture, especially the music. While in Rome, he wrote home to his father complaining, “The music here may not lack for sensuality, but it lacks the necessary means altogether: The orchestras are beneath contempt, with neither pianists nor pianos. Even the papal singers are growing old, are almost completely unmusical, don’t even get the traditional pieces right; they are never all together. Concerts are given at the so-called Philharmonic Society, but only with piano accompaniment, no orchestra. The people’s spirits have probably been besieged and destroyed inside; they have a religion but don’t believe in it, they have a splendidly bright past history but pay no attention to it. So it is no wonder that they take no pleasure in art, since they are indifferent even to all that is more serious.” So who was this disappointed traveler in Italy, this Great Composer?

If this great composer were alive today he may have used these exact words to describe Saturday evenings concert.  However, best described by Victor's exclaimation:  "MY EARS HURT!"




THE ANSWER:

The 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn, thus illustrating again that he was first and foremost a snob.  Mendelssohn did like the Italian landscape.  He said, "Nature and the warm December air and lines of the Albanian mountains down into the sea - these all remain the same and something anyone can enjoy afresh and in solitude.  But as far as the music went, well, if Mendelssohn was to enjoy Italian music, he would just have to produce some of it himself, which he did shortly after his trip in 1830, the Italian Symphony.

2 comments:

shydandelion said...

No clue...

Zaphod said...

Felix Mendlesohn when he was 20 years old.