My friend Hillary notified me on Facebook about her concert with the ISU Symphony. Sure am glad she did.
So the family and I enjoyed our first orchestral concert since we left Kansas City two years ago. The young miss was relieved not to have to dress up, but proclaimed herself bored after the first piece, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
I wouldn’t have stated it that way. While I appreciated the performance, especially of the soloist, and the orchestration of the piece was interesting, I can’t say I was really impressed with the work. Twenty-plus minutes of angst over lost love seemed a little self-indulgent to me. I guess I’ll have to listen to a few Mahler symphonies.
I really was looking forward to the second piece, Vetrate di Chiesa. Wasn’t disappointed. I was first introduced to the recording (image, above) when I worked in public radio in the 80′s. The cd was one of the first I acquired at the end of the era of vinyl. My sensitive wife once jumped when I was playing the disc in the immediate transition from the hushed Flight Into Egypt to the archangel Michael’s battle with the forces of evil.
Respighi studied briefly with Rimsky-Korsakov, another non-German composer I have at the peak of my pantheon. I love their orchestrations.
Along with Hillary in the second violins, another one of “our own” was performing tonight. Michael was on the pipe organ in the recital hall for bits in his namesake’s movement, as well as the last “window,” Gregory the Great, which quotes something of Gloria VIII (I think).
The students clearly are not a professional symphony, but I thoroughly enjoyed the concert in spite of the occasional intonation problem. Lots of other students were in the audience. And I always appreciate musicians giving their all.