This past Saturday, I returned to the Columbus Symphony for their latest performance. This was a special occasion because they were performing in collaboration with the Ballet Met – a group of wonderfully talented dancers. Wow. They were really good. Combine that with the fantastic orchestra and you’re sure to have a great performance.
I’m going to stop right there and apologize up front to the Columbus Symphony and also to the Ballet Met. To all, I will be completely honest: I am not a fan of the ballet. I can appreciate the work and the talent and a performance, but I’m just not crazy about it. I also don’t really care for Romantic era or 20th century classical music. I’m sorry. I just don’t.
Hey – some folks don’t like football (those who don’t are usually banished from the state of Ohio) and some folks don’t like spicy foods and some folks don’t like black licorice. We all have our likes and dislikes.
I’d heard some pieces by these composers before – Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky – but I’d never heard these particular pieces, so I was going in and listening to brand new music. That’s part of the reason to go though, right? To expose myself to new things? Well – I kind of feel like I was flashed (DON’T LOOK, ETHEL!) because this music was so different than what I normally like to listen to on the radio and at home. Gotta love a good adventure once in a while though, yes?
This was not one of my season tickets, but I learned a friend was going to perform and I didn’t want to miss it. I went there knowing I’d be exposed to something different, but also knew I was going to hear music that would normally trigger my involuntary reflex to change the radio station to anything else – including country. (OK, maybe not talk radio. I think I’d rather drive in silence than opt for that!)
Needless to say, while the performances were sure to be terrific, I was not at all expecting to actually like it. Any of it. My expectations however, were somewhat shot. 🙂
So – those caveats out of the way, here’s what was on the program:
Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor
Columbus Symphony Orchestra
DEBUSSY Prélude à “l’Après-midi d’un faune”(Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”)
RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole
STRAVINSKY Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Christopher Purdy said that during the first performance of Rite of Spring, 100 years ago, there were riots because it was so weird. He also said that the first half of that performance included nice, happy music that was in a happy key (the entire piece) and had chords that resolved. Ahh…music to my ears. Rite of Spring: very different. Definitely makes for an interesting story around this piece of music!
Before the concert, during intermission and afterwards, I posted some thoughts on Facebook.
Oh wow – much better seats than usual! For this concert I am WAY out of my comfort zone. (No really – Waaaaaayyy out) My favorite eras of classical music (Gershwin and Rachmaninoff excepted) are classical, baroque and early. This new-fangled, 20th century, modern stuff is going to seem very strange to my ears this evening! I LIKE chords that resolve…
Intermission: lots of really weird music at the CSO tonight! Not sure I like it yet. Seriously. Debussy and Ravel down, Stravinsky Rite of Spring to go!
I just saw Rite of Spring performed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Met. I didn’t really have any idea what was going on (well – that’s not entirely true), but surprisingly, I actually liked it. It was very impressive. Tomorrow morning, I’m starting my Rite of Spring workout program. It’ll be great. Should be down to 100-lb ballerina weight in no time! (It really did look like they were getting a great workout!)
I went to the Columbus Symphony last night. Still not sure if I liked it. Normally, the music played (Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky) is the kind of music that, when heard on the radio, would cause me to instantly change the radio station – even to country music. I just don’t like late romantic or 20th century classical. (Few exceptions – like Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, late Beethoven)
First half – didn’t like the music, didn’t really get the dancing. 2nd half (Rite of Spring) I THINK I liked it…would never listen to the music by itself, but the dancing was funky and while I didn’t get most of it, I really do think I liked it…but am still not sure.
I’ll admit that were it not for the fact that I knew someone performing, I would not have bought a ticket. I had a really good seat though! Hmm…overall, I’m still kind of undecided about the music, but am glad I went.
The music was well-played and the dancing – especially during Rite of Spring (no riots this time, by the way) – was fabulous! Wow! I’m really impressed with Ballet Met. The choreography was really funky, but I liked it – despite my not understanding a thing of what was going on half the time! I wasn’t expecting to like Rite of Spring, not at all, but I did. I’ll be honest with you – I probably wouldn’t enjoy just the music just on its own, but with the ballet to go with it, it made for a great combination.
There was also Jeni’s ice cream afterwards: Absinthe and Meringues. Like all Jeni’s ice cream, it was delicious. Who cares what the temperature was outside? We were all going to have some ice cream!
After all that, I just might go to something like that again – even without knowing someone who was performing.
Well done, Columbus Symphony. Well done Ballet met.