May 06, 2005

J.'s office got a subscription to the Thursday night series at the Philadelphia Orchestra. They will be giving them up, as it turns out that few of their clients who like high culture are free for wooing on Thursday nights.

So, J. and I used the spare box seats last night and went to see some fiddle music. It was a nice date.

A couple of highlights:

There is little that is as inherently amusing as a tuba mute.

You can amuse yourself for hours watching the timpanist - picking drumsticks, setting his feet as he waits for his cue, lifting in the air as he goes BOOM BOOM BOOM and then stifles his drums, and then bowing down as if in prayer as he tweaks the tuning on the timpani for its next set of notes.

This was my first show in the Kimmel Center, and my first time to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra since the early years of Muti. My ear still expects to hear Ormandy's later years, with the lush sentimental strings and Mason Jones horn work. The current director is very dramatic, overly so in the early pieces, and the hall was, to my ear, tuned for bass viols, brass, and lower woodwinds. The flutes and violens sounded thin and whiney to me. Ah, but the brass!

There were no bagpipes.

It was a lot of fun, and the teenager from the neighborhood did a good job putting the boys to sleep. The boys were well-fed, in their pajamas, and primed to play nicely with her, and they were their usual good selves. Well done lads!

Posted by Red Ted at May 6, 2005 07:45 AM | TrackBack