The sights and sounds around Heinz Hall and Katz Plaza were wonderful to experience Friday night, a great way to begin a sparkling Autumn season of entertainment. First we heard Jazz music as we descended the staircase of our chosen parking garage. We stayed for a while to listen, all the while I took the opportunity to photograph the lights of the sculpture, a permanent fixture, and the wall of the building behind, marvelously transformed into a stunning show of light. But our main destination was Heinz Hall, where we looked forward to the superlative experience of live orchestral music, performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
The Adams composition was a delightful journey back to a time when Classical Music was in its heyday. As Bernstein once wrote in this book Joy of Music: "Whatever happened to beauty…" Well beauty made its return in this composition, not what you’d expect in the modern age. Beauty, of course is quite a subjective term, and being in the eye of the beholder, one must behold, and as an individual, one must make up for their own minds what constitutes beauty. I found beauty in the world premiere of the Violin Concerto by Christopher Theofanidis, performed by Sarah Chang. Most of the composition was of the more modern style, and one had to switch gears completely from the previous to change one’s mode of listening to appreciate fully the form now being heard. As any new form, it takes time to appreciate, I remember that much of what I know and love today in classical music took many years to develop. So I look forward to hearing many other compositions like this, and perhaps this concerto again someday. I hope others do as well.
The PSO, under the baton of a marvelous new guest conductor, Andris Nelsons, performed a sublime composition, Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2. Just click here to experience the opening moments of the 4th movement, one of my favorites! But how can anyone pick favorites with beautiful music. I’d have to say that there are so many favorites, it almost diminishes the term.