3/25 – Sarah Chang and Marek Janowski – Christina Johnson

Too often this year I end up too busy for my own good and I stop having
time to do things I enjoy, such as going to the symphony and other arts
events.  Going to the symphony gets set aside and crossed off my
schedule for meetings, schoolwork, or other commitments.  It’s easy to
say to myself that there are three concerts over the weekend, and I can
just attend on Sunday instead, or go next weekend, and just keep
putting it off.  However, once I finally decide to go after a few weeks
of absence, I’m immediately convinced of the symphony’s importance to
my life – what the concert brings to me as a person, how it provides an
escape from other parts of my life, and why I need to make time to see

This weekend was the first chance in several weeks that I’ve been
able to attend a concert.  The absence made me realize even more how
much I appreciate taking the time for a concert.  It’s something
special – most importantly, it’s those two hours in the concert hall
where I let myself take the time to focus on the music and enjoy
something beautiful.  It’s also nice to take the time to dress nicely,
go out to dinner, and spend time with a friend.  (The wine tasting this
weekend was excellent!) 

This weekend was a good weekend to return.  Marek Janowski is an
artist I’ve never seen conduct, and it was a pleasure to finally hear
the third member of the PSO Artistic Leadership Team.  Sarah
Chang’s interpretation of the Sibelius wasn’t what I was expecting, but
one of the things I enjoy most about live performances is the variety
of interpretations I get to hear and how that challenges the
pre-existing ideas I have about a piece. This concert was a perfect
opportunity for it.  In addition to Ms. Chang’s interpretation of the
Sibelius, Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony was another delightful piece to sit
back and think about the artistic choices made by the conductor and the
orchestra.  Beethoven 3 is a symphony I will never get tired of
listening to.  Additionally, owning several recordings or seeing a
piece multiple times allows me to draw upon the existing knowledge and
ideas I have and question them.  This is one of the biggest joys of
seeing a piece like this performed live.  As many times as I listen to
it on the radio or on CD, it will always be different in the concert
hall, no matter what.  Even though I know what notes or rhythms are
coming, I’m never sure what interpretation and artistic choices will be
made, providing a unique experience each time I’m in the concert hall.

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