It was a blustery day Sunday morning. Before the concert I saw one of the bloggers that I remembered from the Blogfest a month ago. It is a friendly environment when I start seeing familiar faces. Daniel Meyer gave the pre-concert talk along with Betsy Burleigh (Mendelssohn Choir). It was appreciated as I had never heard the Brahms pieces before. And it set the stage for what was to come.
The classical greek fates: spinner of the thread of life, the measurer, and the cutter. As the Brahms and Beethoven pieces played, it was easy to fit the changing of moods into themes. Nanie, as it goes from sections where beauty and strength is described to sections depicting tragic failure to sadness. Gesang der Parzen, with its strong introduction to the ending slow as a dirge. Schicksalslied with its deep beginning, sounding of hope, and the ending of hope in the storm. And ending as it began with the beats of the timpani.
Having caught the promised dit dit dit dah during the Brahms led into the anticipated dum dum dum daah of Beethoven’s Fifth that drives around the orchestra and forward in grand motion.
The overall theme of Fate was introduced ever more strongly prior to the concert. Cynthia (principle oboe) came out before the concert to give a dedication – that the Sunday concert was dedicated to longtime board member Bill Boyd, who passed away suddenly early this year. She spoke of his dedication and service, and of knowing him as a friend who not only loved music, but also engaged the people around him.
When I move to a new city, I have three milestones that let me know I am settling in and building connections to the community around me. To celebrate a wedding, to visit a newborn baby, and to go to a funeral. And in Pittsburgh, I had done all three after just over a year. It would be easy to go through life and take everything passively where the random strangers around you are obsticals to go around. Including sitting in an audience of a concert, where one could be someone who hears a performance. Or life could be something experienced and the experience one that is shared. So it was rather inspiring to hear Cynthia’s testimonial. That leading a life that engages the people around you, one at a time, can be done, and that such a life is something to be celebrated.