It’s noisy out there, isn’t it? In the wake of the G20 Summit and the melodrama of our own lives, even silence sounds garishly strident and pulsating. So many of us are nursing broken hearts and facing new hardships in these challenging times. Needless to say, I was both surprised and pleased by the heavy attendance at Heinz Hall for Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons—I have never before witnessed the “will call” line extend around the block. The PSO may have struck a chord (pun completely, albeit predictably, intended) with its “Inspired by Nature” project. For those of us who are seeking a respite from all that binds, confuses and frustrates us, an escape to the pureness and beauty of nature may be just what the doctor ordered.
Endlessly droning about life’s difficulties is extremely redundant and uninspiring; the PSO could have easily required me to go through luggage check, for all of the personal emotional baggage that I had hauled to the performance. When the music started, though, it just didn’t matter. Every person sitting in Heinz Hall, young or old, rich or poor, musician or spectator, during any given performance on any given day, carries her/his own burdens. If we are able to allow it, they are eased, even momentarily, through music. Broken hearts, economic pressures and trepidation about the future all dissipated the moment that Mr. Cardenes expertly and confidently began to conduct. And as the musicians surely poured their souls into the profoundly intricate melodies, so I trustingly placed my soul into their care. A wise decision, indeed; as the music took me through the pluckiness of Poulenc, the somberness of Tchaikovsky and, finally, epic cyclical wonder that is The Four Seasons, I found the escape for which I was so desperately searching.
A vacation for the mind and soul, sans the annoying baggage surcharges and removal of shoes—does it get any better?