Wednesday, December 5, 2012

San Francisco Symphony REHEARSAL

Apparently, if you are a donor to the San Francisco Symphony, you get invited to a rehearsal every now and then (not sure how often).  While I am not a donor, my DAD is!  And since he lives in Fresno, he sent me his invitation and I got to go!

At first, I wasn't sure.  I walked a mile in the rain with ill fitting rain boots.  I never did see a bus pass me, so I'm fairly confident my decision to walk was a good one.

When I got there...I couldn't help but laugh.  I was literally the youngest person there by at least 30 years.  And I think I was one of 3 non-white people.  And people kept staring at me!  I think the older people were confused what I was doing there.  I did have a very pleasant conversation with two ladies about umbrellas and my rain boots.  =)

They rehearsed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major with pianist Yefim Pronfman, Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, and a debut piece by Mark Volkert called Pandora.

There was a lecture beforehand that reminded me of my music history classes in college.  Very interesting and entertaining, but I fear my brain probably won't retain the details given.  That and I hadn't slept and still haven't slept since yesterday.  Then there were coffee and donuts....or so I am told.  While others left to get refreshments, I stayed for what I think is the most interesting part; the musicians arriving and warming up.

I am a sponge.  I love to watch what other people do to see their process, method, and to steal all the wonderful things I can.  And one-by-one, as the musicians came on stage, I got quite a few looks and smiles from them.  Again, I think it's because I was the youngest one and I just stuck out like nobody's business.

Sitting in the 6th row was...awesome.  It's an experience I've never...experienced before.  I can't afford those seats!  I plopped myself as close as they would allow us and right in the middle.  I wanted to watch the technique of the cello players with an eagle eye, and I wanted to be able to hear Michael Tilsom Thomas's comments to the orchestra.


Empty, right before the lecture
The piano concerto was fun.  It's not one of my favorites, but I was right in the pathway of the piano's sound.  The Strauss was...Strauss.  It was loud and exciting, brassy, technically very challenging, and a lot of fun.  I was taken aback by how LOUD it was in the 6th row.

And the Pandora piece was really interesting.  The bass player got a cadenza!  I was so happy for him!  I've never seen or heard a bass player play such an intricate and technically demanding...anything.  All the principal string players had really really difficult solos.  It was very impressive.

It was very inspiring and a good reminder that music fills my heart and soul the way nothing else does.

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5
Full Orchestra



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