Brahms. What can you say. Right in the center of wonderful, pure classical music. No hint of baroque, no wandering off into the romantic melodies or modern dissonances. You become so absorbed in the music and feel infused with it to the point of almost melting inside. It was an entire evening of Brahms for us last night.
We began with Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with pianist Jonathan Biss, unknown to me, with the orchestra conducted by the famous Pinchas Zuckerman. We had a large strings contingent and small woodwinds, brass and percussiion. Our pianist was dynamic, even at times athletic, leaping from the bench with a particularly grand flourish at the end of a marvelous run or phrase. Well leaping is probably too extreme a description, but definitely putting daylight between himself and the bench. Zuckerman had the symphony performing at its best.
After intermission we had Symphony No. 4 in E minor. Zuckerman appeared to be really enjoying himself. I love it when a conductor doesn't need to look at the music, but has such great knowledge of the score, can fully interact with the orchestra.
One day I'll blog about the fashion trends in symphony artists. And symphony-goers for that matter. Times have changed even in just the past 30 years.
Ou evening began with dinner at Little America. Everyone goes to Grand America these days - or so we thought. Actually there was a long line waiting all evening long. I arrived first and secured a table for us. This was a sentimental journey for me, as Little America was a favorite of mine and Doug's -- I can't guess how many times we had dinner there, or lunch or brunch, or just coffee and cake after the opera. I ordered coffee while I waited and had a moment for old times. The good years.
The food was wonderful, and afterward we had extra time, so we browsed through the hotel shops. I reminisced how Doug would often just buy me something on a whim in those shops. Overpriced yes, but he was like that. So when I came across an exquisite little beaded purse for a relatively reasonable price, my friends insisted I must buy it and it would be a way of remembering the good times with Doug. I hesitated -- I am not as impulsive as he was. But I gave in and did it. No regrets.
We rode the light rail train to symphony hall and back as it was so convenient. With hours of chatting, laughing, eating, hearing the wonderful symphony, it can only be judged a perfect evening once again.