Before I get the review of the show, let me just offer this quick behind the scenes at how blog writers are able to attend PSO performances. You see, there is the blog manager and he emails the blog writers about when a show is coming up and asks if we can make it. We either say yay or nay. Now, I will tell you that several times I’ve received these emails and have been like, hmmmm, no, I don’t think I want to go. (Jazz performances spring to mind.) And then there are other times I’m like YES!!! I will ABSOLUTELY go. (Anything featuring works by Beethoven come to mind, as well as solo violin.)
So, it was just a regular evening when I got the email from the blog manager asking if I could make it to a performance of Brahms’ Requiem. And trust me when I say, my eyes bugged out of my head and I got super happy.
Brahms’ Requiem is a piece I’ve heard and read about for years. I absolutely wanted to go. I mean, sorry to sound morbid, but requiem pieces really fascinate me. And I find them intensely beautiful and lyrical and very thought provoking. So I emailed back and said, “yay.”
Fast forward to morning of the performance. I get phone call. A reminder phone call. A phone call that reminds me I have to baby sit. From 6-11PM. The very day of the performance.
Well, suffice to say I was bummed. More than bummed. But I guess the saying is true: When one door closes, a window opens. Although in this case, the window didn’t open for me. It opened for a very good friend who, kindly, asked since I couldn’t go, could he?
Well, I said sure because I felt duty-bound for someone to enjoy the performance that is Brahms’ Requiem. So he went. And I was both happy for him (it was his first outing to the symphony) and sad because I couldn’t go. But I gave him instructions to text me during every break and let me know what was going on. (He didn’t, by the way. He only called me during intermission. Which is a good thing, as I can’t stand when people text during live performances. I don’t know what possessed me to ask him to do that!)
Anyway, here are his thoughts – paraphrased – just for this post!
1. He did not notice the really fresh ink/paper smell of the programs. (I asked him about that.)
2. He enjoyed the first half of the performance better than the second. To him, it just sounded “prettier.”
3. He very much enjoyed the second half and really appreciated the program notes to help him really understand what was going on.
**I totally agree with that. Bravo and kudos to the person who writes the program. It is always so well done and informational and really is appreciated.
4. He liked baritone Thomas Hampson and thought he was “really good” but wonders why he isn’t like Il Divo or Josh Groban. I told him to write an angry letter.
So all in all, the performance, though not enjoyed by me (sigh) was very much enjoyed by my very good friend Michael. (Shout out!) I’m only sorry I missed such an extraordinary performance, but I’m so glad that a first-time symphony goer could discover the power and poise of the PSO with such an impressive performance. In fact, he’s already hounding me for the next time he can go.
Yep….I think we have a convert.