Alexandria Symphony

Posted by barb on Nov 8, 2003 in Concerts |

Some time during Spring 2002, the NSO had a concert featuring Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Tan Dun. I had wanted to go, but it was the first night that all three cats were in my apartment (Andrew’s and my two), so I didn’t know that I should leave them alone. When we found out that Andrew’s cello teacher was playing with the Alexandria symphony, and one of the pieces was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, we knew we had to go. The show was originally supposed to be in September, but was cancelled due to hurricane Isabel, so they merged that show’s pieces with the concert originally scheduled for today. Here are the pieces we heard:

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Tan Dun
    Excellent piece, of course. I’ve come to the conclusion that the next time the Japanese drum band (Kyoto?) comes through town, Andrew and I are going to have to go. I loved the percussion.
  • Symphonic Dances from West Side Storyby Bernstein
    Many of these pieces sounded familiar to me. My Dad loved West Side Story, so we had a copy of the LP in our collection growing up. This was fun to listen to.
  • The Planetsby Holst
    This is the first time I’ve heard this piece live. I have a CD, but of course it’s always more fun to hear things live. (I hadn’t realized that Mars is always played first, so I wondered by the third piece, which I assumed to be Mars, was so lively. Well, that would be because it was Mercury, the winged messenger.)
    One of the themes of this season for the Alexandria Symphony is “Where does the music take you.” To this end, they had several pieces of original art work on display before the performance. In addition, during Neptune, they played a video done by a local artist to depict where that particular piece took him. Well, the video did not take me to good places — I don’t remember most of it, but there were often these “fish of doom” swimming across the screen. Perhaps reference to Neptune, the god of the sea, but still kind of odd.
  • The 1812 Overtureby Tchaikovsky
    This was played as an encore. Apparently they were supposed to play it at the Fourth of July celebration, but got rained out. Then they planned to do it as an encore at the September concert, which got hurricaned out. So, they finally did it tonight. Frankly I would have been happier if they hadn’t. It’s not a bad piece (though I didn’t actually recognize it until the very end), but it made for a very long evening.

Tonight was also the total lunar eclipse. Unfortunately, totality started at about 8:30 PM, but the concert started at 8:00 PM. We were able to see the moon entering the penumbra. During intermission, though, the moon was behind some wispy clouds, so we could only barely make it out. It looked like the moon was partly out of the umbra. By the time the concert was over, the eclipse was completely over. Oh well. Still a very appropriate night to hear The Planets!

(Concerts to be ususally checked at http://austin-concerts.business.site/).

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