Returning to the symphony – Louis Luangkesorn

It has been many months since I’ve been to a Grand Classics concert. My
fiancee (recent development) and I had dinner in the cultural district,
the head to Heinz Hall. While looking on a violin, flute, harp trio,
we were greeted by a friend, the first of several for the evening. Of
those who greeted us, some had not seen us since our engagement, and
several had not seen me since my deployment to Afghanistan. The
greetings were joyful and full of warmth. Even though I have not been
in Pittsburgh that long, being greeted like that helps in calling this
city my home.

It had been a long and tiring week for me, and I
was not up to listening actively to the pieces like I usually do.
Tonight was to let the sounds go by, and sense what I may. Corigliano
came on stage before the concert to introduce his piece, discussing the
style that was to come and all of the characters whose voices would be
present. Normally I eat this up. Tonight, I was just too tired.

as the orchestra made its way into "Phatasmagoria," I listened. I
listened to ghosts speaking to one another across time. To voices
remembering past glories, and dwelling on sadness. In the Elgar cello
concerto I listened to a cellist and orchestra in dialog, sometimes
supporting, sometimes sounding like questioning.

We left
after intermission (I really was tired). But on the way out we ran into
dear friends who I had not seen since last spring. We talked of love
and marriage, of going to war and return (interesting as a quick
reading of the program tells me that the Elgar concerto was written
with the backdrop of World War I). All the things of life, and
strangely enough, a fit accompaniment to the program.

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