A Canadian made me cry

If you read my blog yesterday you will have read about my tears as Bishop Jeffrey Lee preached at the funeral of Mary Ellen Smith, the wife of my local; Bishop here in South West Florida.

I got all teary again today.  I was at the season finale concert of the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra.

In the first part of the concert we heard a modern piece, the “Too Hot Toccata” composed in 1996 by Aaron Jay Kernis (b 1960).  This bit of music had not even a wee bit of memorable melody.   Indeed it was an exciting six minute cacophony which had me on the edge of my seat. When it ended I was one of many at Sarasota’s Van Wezel Concert Hall who exclaimed “Wow”.

Next was a symphony by Mozart  - his #25 in G  minor. I am usually a great Mozart fan, but this symphony seemed dull and pedestrian after the exciting Kernis piece,

-Then came the intermission-

After which we heard the incredibly beautiful Violin Concerto in D major by Beethoven.  I know this piece well, but only from recordings and from the radio.

I became teary eyed in this live performance.  The soloist was the 36 year old Canadian violinist James Ehnes from Brandon, Manitoba.

His playing was superb, yes indeed first class -  I would say exquisite.

And yes indeed, I got all teary eyed not just at the loveliness of Beethoven’s music, but more because of the gorgeous way in which James Ehnes played.

His skill was supported by the fabulous Sarasota Orchestra, and especially by the guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen.

She hails from Taiwan and now lives in Chicago.

She is a conductor for the future.

And I am an aging man who shed tears at a funeral (yesterday), and at today’s concert.

This lachrymose old man needs tissues!  (But he is grateful for the ability to cry)


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