The Planets

For the first time in a week, I can see the grass in my yard (though
it’s rather muddy) and thanks to one of my neighbors who bladed the
remaining icy portions of my driveway, I’m now able to park in front of
my house
as per usual.

This past Friday night I treated myself to an early Christmas present
by attending an amazing performance at the Symphony. The first half of
the program featured pianist Andre Watts playing Franck’s Variations symphoniques and Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 (but that’s not why I went). The second half of the program was of tremendous interest to me to hear Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Even
if I wouldn’t have made the Chorus, I knew this was the one concert
during the course of the entire season I wanted to attend above all
others!  It
was the first time I had ever attended a live performance of the suite
and was blown away by the full symphonic sound. I sat there with a
goofy smile on my face and heartily applauded when the seven movement
piece was over. Several ladies from the Chorus provided the
upstairs/offstage
ethereal voices in the final movement Neptune.
All in all it was such a terrific evening!!! And to remind me how small
the world is, one of the SLSO bassoonists is Andrew Gott, who grew up
in Bolivar and first began studying with Dr. Waters. I look
forward to our New Year’s Eve rehearsals when I can meet him and talk about our similar
experiences!

Prior to the concert I ate dinner at IHOP and overheard the following dialogue at a nearby booth:
Mother saying to son, “If you don’t stop, I’m gonna call Santa Claus
when we get home and tell him not to bring you any presents.” And a
little while later the mom said to her son, “Do you treat your friends
at school that way?” (referring to the way he was treating his sister)
Little boy, “Well, no.” Mom replies, “Why not?”  Little boy,
“Because she’s not my friend.”  Mom yet again, “Well then, who is
she?”  Little boy answers dejectedly, “She’s my sister.” (said with a slight speech impediment)
I had to turn my head and laugh the opposite direction. As I told this
story at church to some of my friends who are moms of young children
they reminded me that it’s funny until the kids become your own. 
Point well taken.

My weekend ended marvelously having dinner with my friend Joe on Sunday
night. He’s an amazing tenor with whom I sing in the Chorus. It was an
all around wonderful evening and I look forward in getting to know him
better.

The semester is winding down and I now reach a week or so of sheer
boredom at work before I leave for Christmas…it’s either maddeningly
busy or dead as a door nail. Maybe I can use these next few days to
brainstorm ways to find a balance between these two polar opposites .

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6 thoughts on “The Planets

  1. On Saturday Aarik and I hit the jack pot at our local cd store…5 records for $4 (actually more like 10 records because one of them was a set of Haydn symphonies).  I was very pleased to get Holst’s The Planets for 25 cents!  Since our turntable is currently not working, we don’t know what our finds will sound like, but I’m excited nonetheless!  I’m glad you got to hear it live!

  2. That sounds like an incredible concert!  I can hear Neptune in my head now….ahhhh beautiful.  What a great experience for you.  And small world – I think I remember Andrew Gott from SBU..or else heard of him from you or Sally. 

  3. Oooooh!  Saint-Saens Concerto!  I am partial to him 1.) Because he is overlooked as a pianist and composer and 2.) He used to play any Beethoven concerto or sonata per request by memory as an encore.  I’ll forgive his being French.  And the Planets?  You just can’t beat it with a stick.  I presume David Robertson presided?  ~N

  4. I miss attending concerts and have yet to attend a major professional concert.  It’s true what the young mothers say.  I can laugh for now but it’s a lot different when you have to take the monsters home.  Dinner sounded nice, hopefully that continues to go well. 

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