Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A whole week of Music in your Face

Last week, 16-21 November, was a week very, very full of music and music artists here in Nashville. Is it any wonder it's nicknamed "Music City"?

As I related in my previous post, the week began with hearing conversations between WSM staff and Steve Wariner and then Charlie Daniels. Wednesday was the expectantly nice rehearsal for the Eastwood Christian Church choir.

But I suppose the highlight came at the end of the week and involved a live performance rather than radio listening or a singing rehearsal.

Saturday evening I went to the Nashville Symphony concert, "Tangos, and Ravel's Bolero". I was a bit late entering Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, but still heard almost all the tango selections. But I was there to experience "Bolero"! This will seem odd to any of my Lambda Chi Alpha brothers who were initiated in the 1960s of 1970s in our chapter house at 720 Deakin Avenue in Moscow, Idaho. The night I became a full-fledged Lambda Chi I got to listen to "Bolero", on a vinyl disk in poor condition, for some 14 times! But this didn't cause me to loath the 14 minute long instrumental piece (unlike my frat brothers). And much more recently I had heard a live rendition of Ravel's piece at Fiesta Texas, as part of the last new show there before I returned to Tennessee. But THAT one wasn't by a full orchestra.

So when it was time for the solo snare drummer to commence his steady beating of the rhythm base for "Bolero" I gave him and the entire orchestra my rapt attention. I was somewhat amused that as the piece progressed, instruments steadily entering the performance and the volume increasing, I had recollections of that night 37 years previously when I had listened to it so many times. But my mind was more fixated on the beauty of Bolero's structure; I felt like I was getting swept up into the music while it gained in power!

A side interest was watching Giancarlo Guerrero conduct the symphony. There was very little of the arm gesturing one associates with a conductor. As another patron said afterward, it was more like the conducting consisted of his head movements or body language. This is probably due to the song being built on that snare drum foundation. If the orchestra has a drummer who does his part accurately, there's little need for much gesticulation by a conductor!

Whatever. . . the Nashville Symphony did an excellent, wonderful rendition of "Bolero"! The last note had hardly faded and the applause begun before yours truly leapt to my feet for a standing ovation!

And I heard the strains of "Bolero" flowing thru my mind all the way home that night. I don't remember now, but they probably punctuated my dream before the next dawn!

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