I escaped tonight to the symphony. My inner critic was just slightly disappointed: the orchestra seemed a tad flat (not in pitch, but in attitude). But even music that doesn’t sparkle perfectly has power to soothe and excite in a live venue.
I’m always amazed that people can listen to music, especially lyrical waltzes and bravura ballets, sitting stoically, quietly, seemingly unmoved. I turn into a lunatic; I can’t help myself: I sway and bounce and tap my feet. The music moves in me and through me and there’s just no way I can sit still. It’s the same when I perform: a high school friend once told me I completely transformed when I was on stage. She had trouble believing how the shy mouse morphed into the uninhibited musician. But…hey, it’s music. It’s meant to be experienced, absorbed deep into the bones, the soul, the heart.
Tonight’s dance-worthy selections included von Weber’s sweet Invitation to the Dance, which for me conjures up images of the New York City Ballet and afternoons at Lincoln Center. There was a Beethoven piano concerto (the 4th), followed by a favorite warhorse, Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite No. 1, my toe-tapping delight. I mean…good gosh, folks. Saxophones! At the symphony, no less. A slight bob of the head, at minimum, is warranted, practically mandated, if only to acknowledge that kooky touch of innovative 1800s genius. And to end…excerpts from Glazunov’s ballet, Raymonda. Ah!…Raymonda…and wonderful memories of the incomparable Rudolph Nureyev, soaring, leaping, spinning, landing gallantly and elegantly. My prince, always and forever.
Okay, so I’m a little tipsy on champagne and waxing nostalgic. I had a wacky thought, borne on the wings of alcohol-induced inspiration: I think, perhaps, I want to learn a new instrument. As much as I disliked playing in the community band on my clarinet (too easy), I might really love the challenge of playing – let’s say – oboe (really tough as a beginner) in the same band. Or French horn, my all-time favorite, meltingly sensual brass instrument.
It’s way past my bedtime, but I’m tired and wired and babbling like a fool. I’ll re-read this in the morning and probably delete the whole crazy post. But maybe – just maybe – tonight will be the night I won’t wake up at 2 a.m. That, in itself, is enough to soothe this savage beast.