They say that all good things come to an end. I am not sure who ‘they’ are, but I do understand what they are saying. In two days I will be flying to Europe for a month, thereby giving up the last two symphony concerts of the year. Before the season starts up again in September, I will have left for Chicago and be deep in the world of college.
So, as you can imagine, it was with deep sorrow that I drove to the parking garage on Saturday night and walked out to find Heinz Hall shimmering before me like always.
Well, to be honest, I ran out of the parking garage, because the
traffic on the parkway combined with the baseball game at PNC Park
served to make me five minutes late. Even with our running, my friend
and I weren’t in time to see the first piece: ‘Serenade No. 6 in D
major’ by Mozart. (Mozart and I have a history of missing each other at
the symphony. Honestly, I’m beginning to think it’s something personal.
But what could he possibly have against me?)
When we did manage to go
to our seats, I was pleased to find everything just as always. The
crowd was swelling the aisles, as always. The orchestra was seated in
their familiar chairs, and I saw faces in the places I have become
accustomed to. And when they began playing, they were, as always,
exceptional. The first piece I heard was Haydn’s ‘Symphony No. 100 in G
major, “Military.”’ When it began I thought to myself, ‘Hmm. This
doesn’t seem very military at all.’ But I quickly realized that Haydn
was not simply presenting a ‘marching’ piece, he was presenting the
military as a whole. He captured the different faces of the military,
from the pensive solitude to the classic triumphant charges. It is no
wonder the people of London were so enthusiastic about his piece.
Bartok’s concerto was completely different, but just as challenging and
attention grabbing. Each movement kept my whole attention and required
me to think about it, analyze it, and contemplate it. I was especially
intrigued by the endings of the movements. Each one ended in an
unexpected and nontraditional way, and each time I was left with a bit
of an odd taste in my mouth. A good taste, but an odd one. The final
movement was no exception, and the crowd, usually so ready with
applause, seemed to need a deep breath before breaking into the usual
thunderous applause. I have no doubt that I will be back, every now and
then, popping my head into Heinz Hall to snatch a few hours of the
PSO’s incredible music. I have learned so much about classical music
over the past months, and with that knowledge, I have grown. I hope my
love for classical music remains one of the constant things in my
life—and with the foundation laid by the talented musicians in Heinz
Hall, I think it will.