Monday, November 4, 2013

Some Culture

Sunday afternoon Jim and I went, along with my sister, to a wonderful orchestra concert given by the West Valley Symphony, at a high school near here, not in the high school gym, but in a terrific concert hall, part of the high school.  Large and comfortable, it can seat over 1300 people.

The concert was billed as a "Birthday Bash" as the symphony orchestra is celebrating reaching 45 years as an organized group.  It also celebrated the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi, two very different composers, but also two composers whose operas were mainstays for almost two centuries now, and the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten.

The opening number was Verdi's overture to La Forza del Destino, familiar and very enjoyable, a great opening.  Next came the complex and very German Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde by Wagner.  Very well performed!  And then the invigorating Triumphal March and Ballet from Aida.  What wonderful work in the trumpet section!  Thrilling!  Actually the whole orchestra was excellent.  It's just that I was so taken with the trumpet work in the Aida.

The maestro, Cal Stewart Kellogg, gave comprehensive and enjoyable introductory remarks for each piece.

After intermission we were treated to the Tannhauser Overture by Wagner and then Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, a work I had never heard before.

What an enjoyable afternoon that was!  Their next concert will be on December 22, Amahl and the Night Visitors.  Wish I would be here for that!

This afternoon we had a leisurely swim in the pool and sat in the sun reading.  So relaxing!

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