Saturday, August 06, 2005

A pseudo-elegant evening

The music was great and so was the company. My friend Luke called me up this afternoon, asking if I wanted to take the other ticket he had for the Mt. Baker theater, featuring soprano Heidi Grant Murphy--a graduate from Western apparently.

"I don't know who she is; it might be a sleeper of a concert; who knows," he said before I accepted his offer.

I managed to dress a little down (with him in his nice suit) and show up a little late...and to add insult to injury, I think I enjoyed the concert more than he did...

There were a few people in the chorus who I know and the orchestra finished up the evening with Beethoven's fifth! What a treat! I got to sit there and let my ears isolate each section of the orchestra and examine their contributions to the whole harmony...

The violins...

The first chair was very easily identified, even without the solos he played with Ms Murphy. He was the one who generally looked the most comfortable.

The violas...

The lead had a quirky habit of looking at other players nearby and raising eyebrows as if he just gotten tipped off to an inside joke.

The cellos...

The lead had a very impressive Italian profile if I ever saw one. But nothing stood out to me more than the man who had a weird scope attachment to his glasses. My only guess was that it helps him focus on the music.

The basses...

They were, as usual and unfortunately, too restrained. I'm a great fan of prominent bass, you know. Only in the last movement were there a couple bars of extra prominence.

The woodwinds...

I love the Oboe, what can I say? I was impressed with one piece where I noticed for the first time a few bars where the flutes subtly backed up the violins on the same crescendo note...all too subtly I'm afraid. I liked the intensity it added--something the pretentious violins cannot provide on their own, no matter how much they think they can.

The brass...

They were out of sight most of the concert. Afterward, however, the conductor did a section-by-section bow and I located them behind the woodwinds...which must have been interesting for the woodwinds.

It ended at 9:30 so we decided to find some place to go that didn't close at ten. Through various odd-ball events we ended up at the Olive Garden ready to take on the full meal deal. Unfortunately, just as I decided on the three meat ravioli, Luke pipped up and said, "I think I'll just get the three meat ravioli."...

"Oh, you would," I said with indignation. "I had just decided on that one!"

Before I could step back from the wine menu and choose some other main dish, he was kind enough to concede and choose the lasagna instead. But no sooner did we order then the waitress returned to the table to tell him the lasagna wasn't available...he suppressed a snicker and calmly said he would settle for the three meat ravioli. Did he get off easy or what!?

No matter, because I got to demonstrate to Luke first-hand how nice it is to not be carded over a glass of wine.

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Blogger Crystal said...

Sounds like a completely wonderful evening Mark. I am glad you got to go. I too enjoy studying each section when I go see live orchestras but i am not sure I have ever really sat down and isolated them quite as susinctly as you did here. A very fun read.

9:37 AM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger Rebekah said...

How marvelous for you my boy! It must have aspired to celestial heights. But I think I had better call your attention in advance to my most recent post--garranteed to nock your proverbial socks off.

12:37 PM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger Anna said...

Mark I can see that you look at and inspect all of the sections of the orchestra but what did those sections sound like? You really subtly slammed the violins though! What's with that??!

You said the brass was out of sight, did that mean they were out of hearing?? Perish the thought!

12:40 PM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger Mark R said...

A subtle slamming of the violins? Is that what it sounded like. I'm so sorry, as I didn't mean it to be subtle.

hehe

The violins can take it since they have the meat of just about any piece.

12:48 PM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Sounds like you had fun.
Just one thing: Is it a bad thing for you and Luke to have the same dish?

4:28 PM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger Mark R said...

It's sort of like two girls avoiding wearing the same clothes at the same time. A loss of identity is always imminent... While we wouldn't think of it in exactly those terms, we did argue about who was going to look like we were just copying the other person because we hadn't the culture enough to know what to get.

9:34 PM, August 07, 2005  
Blogger Crystal said...

Rebekah,
Where is this new post you speak of? I have looked on your blog and FF and have yet to see anything? Is this a post yet to come or am I just missing something?

8:10 AM, August 08, 2005  
Blogger Rebekah said...

You are unable to locate my most recent post, Crystal darling, for the simple reason that it is as yet languishing in the incomplete form of a draft. Yes, terrible. But I assure you, it is coming.

7:57 PM, August 08, 2005  
Blogger Emmy said...

Hi Mark! I'm commenting as promised! :)

Your descriptions of the masterful orchestra recreated the evening for a music appreciator as myself.

umm....I'm really trying to make this work...

you write good. ok, you write exceptionally well, its obviouse you're a journalist :)

Did I do good? :)

6:44 PM, August 09, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Hmmm. Okay I think now I get it. But just to make a point that my sisters and I just for fun sometime wear all the same color. Or like a blue shirt and black skirt to church. Sometimes people do comment on how we look.

7:48 PM, August 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mark!
I'm soooo jelous! I so wanted to go to that concert. I heard a lot of good things about it. I heard Heidi Murpy gave a wonderful performance. Lol, thanks for all the details!
~Karin (Kristi's sister)

3:20 PM, August 10, 2005  
Blogger Crystal said...

Thanks for clarifying Rebekah. I hope you post it up soon.

4:59 PM, August 10, 2005  
Blogger CelloChic said...

Yay! Luke has someone who appreciates classical music to give his tickets to now! :)
I miss Mt. Baker Theater. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time and sorry that for your apparent state of bewilderment at choosing a dish from the menu. Haha...you guys. Girls in your situation would've done the same thing too (ordered the same dish) due to their small appetites they would've shared it.

5:02 PM, August 11, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Oooh. Duh. I should have thought of sharing. Though I don't think I have ever shared a meal with someone.

7:13 AM, August 12, 2005  

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