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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spooky Symphony and other Tricks and Treats

We went to GR last night and met up with Jason M. who got us in to the Symphony as guests on his student pass for $5 each! Om said, "Nobody dresses up for concerts anymore," so we went in jeans. I saw 5 people in jeans and we were three of them... o well!

We got to spend some time with friends Fred and Margie H, and son Dan too, since Jason is bunking at their place! We went out for dinner and chose an Italian Restaurant where Om and Jason had eaten lunch. Well, the dinner menu is quite a bit different (more expensive) from lunch! We finally decided that instead of leaving (they had already brought our bread basket) we just ordered soup or salad! Jason had beef tortellini, I had carrot-ginger, and Om had an endive walnut salad. The tortellini broth was very thin. I think I got the best deal with the creamy carrots, and the endive must have been hearts or stalks... it was long shards of white rather than curly green stuff! But Om bravely ate it and said it was good. I am continually amazed at his new fearless attitudes toward foods!

On to the symphony. The musicians were very good, and it's always great to hear live music! I didn't think most of the pieces were very spooky, but most were new to me, so that was fun. My favorites (given the Halloween theme) were Kikomara by Liadov, and The Miraculous Mandarin by Bartok. Kikomara is a theme based on a small Russian monster with a head of a thimble and body of straw. The Bartok piece is music for a play which is so lurid that it is rarely performed even 100 years later. But the music fit the theme well. And they also did Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain... always a winner.

Afterwards we went back to where Jason lives and ate a little more food. I got to try something new... one of my QD Elements. He had dried kelp from the Asian foods store. It was terrible! unless you like melt on your tongue green dead fish taste! So now I know I don't need to buy any of that! The best was pumpkin malted milk balls (instead of chocolate). Also a new experience and they go on the treat list, rather than the tricks.

I think the best of the best was reading about the composers in the program. It seems that I can place myself among the greats. Here's what it said of Mussorgsky. "Modest Mussorgsky was the most individual composer of the lot of five innovative Russians. He was undisciplined, had a drinking problem [not tested, but I'm sure I could develop one if needed], and rarely finished any of the many compositions he started." Sound familiar? I'm still chuckling. Turns out he didn't even finish Night on Bald Mountain. It was finished after his death by Rimsky-Korsakov who described that effort as "difficult, and for two years I could find neither the form, the key-scheme, nor the scoring." But thanks to R-K's persistence, we now enjoy this piece which has become so familiar.

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