My good pal Ben and I took ourselves to Sarasota’s “Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall” for a concert by the Sarasota Orchestra this afternoon (Dec 2nd 2012) at 2:30 p.m.
The Sarasota Orchestra is “as good as they come”. In fact they are “better than they come” in the smaller American cities such as Sarasota. Maybe they are as good as the “big name” orchestras!
The first offering today was Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony (No. 41 in C Major. K 551). This is Mozart at his very best, and the orchestra played the symphony with wondrous skill, which enabled great beauty. Mozart would have been proud.
After the intermission we heard “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.
I’ve known “The Planets” since I was 12 or 13 years old and in High School. (Perhaps it was even earlier since my beloved father loved to listen to classical music on the B.B.C.).
But my enjoyment of “The Planets” has ever been on the radio, or via recordings.
Now all these years later I enjoyed it live for the first time.
I was on the edge of my seat as I drank in every note of Holst’s fabulous music. Cool, cool, cool!
1. The woman who sat to my left in the concert hall (I have never met her before), talked to me at the intermission. She asked “did you notice the cellist with red hair?” Indeed I had noticed her. My seat mate whispered “she is my grand-daughter.” (Warm fuzzy feelings all round!)
2. The Sarasota Orchestra is without a permanent Director/Conductor. The Guest Conductor this afternoon, Thomas Wilkins, was a hit. The audience adored him
3. Just before the performance of “The Planets” he made a little speech in which he said that the Sarasota Orchestra players are “servant musicians”, and that they are channels of something much greater than themselves. Wow! That’s a spiritual/religious concept if ever.
4. A person in the row behind me was wearing a hearing aid which crackled and whistled throughout the concert. It was a bit trying to make tender and passionate love with a mosquito in the bedroom.