Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another concert

Tonight was the last concert of the year for Scott's orchestra, so of course I was there. He was sufficiently tired of all the songs that he wasn't excited by the show. I, on the other hand, know almost nothing about classical music and so was looking forward to it. Plus, the last song was one I do know, a non-classical piece: "I've Got Rhythm." It was as fun as I'd expected it to be.

What struck me most, however, was Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I wouldn't recognize it if it were playing now, because my memory for music without words is lousy, but at the time it quite moved me. I know from comments of the conductor and others that many people play this song on serious occasions, that it was a 9/11 memorial song, and so on. Some folks implied it was over-played and/or almost cliched.

I don't care. If I love a song, I can listen to it again and again regardless of whether others overuse it or have never heard of it.

In case you haven't heard it, here's Leonard Slatkin conducting the BBC Orchestra in a 9/11 memorial piece.

Don't watch this if you don't want those memories to come back. Really.

I feel I need to do something to help you recover your mood. Try this TED video of Gustavo Dudamel leading the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra. I saw this performance via live simulcast at TED and still think about it. WARNING: It'll take 18 minutes to hear it all, and you don't want to miss the second piece.


Kyle said...

"What struck me most, however, was Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings." It's so beautiful I made it the default ring tone on my phone. Now when I hear it in any other context I have the uncomfortable feeling that my phone is ringing and I can't get to it.

Mark said...

I'll have to remember to play it more when you're around.

Elizabeth said...

Barber is one of my favorite composers. He wrote some beautiful piano pieces, one of which I played as part of my junior recital in college. But I'm surprised you don't remember Adagio for Strings from Platoon - it's the heartwrenchingly appropriate soundtrack for the final scene.

Mark said...

As I said, I have a terrible memory for music without words.


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