It has been a delightful summer. Not too hot, not too much extreme weather. I love those lazy days of summer, going to the beach, dining on a patio or riding my bike down the luscious Greenways of our fair city.
But, there’s one thing I never thought in a million years I would miss the way I did; sitting in the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, basking in the glory of its timelessly classic beauty, soaking in the sounds of our illustrious Nashville Symphony orchestra.
Summer was tough for everyone involved in the symphony because so much was going on within the inner “clockworks” of the great hall, and so very much at stake. Talk of foreclosure, budget, salary, contracts, sponsors.
Glad to be free from the hard decisions that must have taken place over those hot, sultry months, I was so very happy to hear, at the beginning of last night’s concert, in fact, the beginning of the concert season, that all things troublesome have been laid to rest and things are right as rain in the house of my most beloved entertainment venue.
Like a family gathers together to form a single entity when facing times of crisis and hardship, via sacrifices, dedication, commitment and hard work, so has our great Nashville orchestral family and all those who work within.
It was indeed a happy occasion last night, when the challenges faced within that great symphony house were announced to have been settled to the good of all.
At the announcement, the entire crowded audience, season ticket holders, newbies and guests alike rose in a standing ovation for the members of our proud and talented orchestra and, midst thunderous applause that resounded long and loud throughout that acoustically magical building, the orchestra members sat, proud and happy, soaking up the appreciation flooding them from the audience.
But, on with the show, as they say. Last night began a three night stint with the inimitable Joyce Yang playing an amazingly passionate piano concerto; Concerto No. 3 in C major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 26. Watching the beautifully petite young woman in her glittering evening gown was fascinating, as she bent so low over the ivories, it appeared she would consume them with her passion, rising fully off her seat of her piano bench to the waves of energy and excitement the piece demanded. She alone is worth the cost of a ticket – or two or three - this weekend to see, hear and practically taste the sounds of the Russian Spectacular.
The evening of music began with something you might be familiar with, Night on Bald Mountain, by Composer Modest Mussorgsky, a hauntingly beautiful melody you might recognize from Fantasia. It’s a piece full of drama, excitement, climactic, even angry moments, with imagery of an underwater graveyard floating through your head from the fantastical Disney movie Fantasia.
If you don’t think you, or your children like classical music, watch the Youtube video of Fantasia, Night on Bald Mountain and know that this is the type of visuals that will dance in your heads, when listening to classical music.
I find my mind full of scenes and images when listening to concerts I have no clue I would ever recognize. Whether from a movie, a cartoon you saw as a child or something you create in your own imagination, you will see something, feel something spectacular in your mind's eye as you listen to this headstrong, at times almost violent but always hauntingly beautiful, and quite often unbelievable sensual music that is called classical.
The Russian Spectacular is featured at our lovely Schermerhorn Symphony Center for two more incredibly entertaining nights. Check out the nashvillesymphony.org website for times, tickets and this season’s absolutely unbelievable line-up of events.