Wednesday 26 November 2014

Boston Symphony

We went to a concert in the Boston Symphony Hall.  The orchestra played "Offertorium" by Sofia Gubaidulina, and Sibelius' second symphony.

Never having heard of Gubaidulina, I looked up the piece on Spotify and YouTube, and was prepared to be disappointed.  The piece is based on the theme from Bach's Music Offering, that is taken apart and then put together backwards.  It was in fact a lot better in live performance than the reocrdings I saw and heard, and if I concentrated hard, I could just about work out what was going on.  I think it might grow on me if I can find a well-recorded version and play it through a decent stereo rather than my PC.

I like Sibelius' symphonies, no problem.

The hall itself was attractive, big in the normal way of these things, comfortable and with good views.  Though I was surprised to see a disposal box for sharps in the gents' toilets.  Perhaps that's more of a requirement for staff safety than anything else.

One thing that I did notice was the casual way the orchestra arrived.  We got there early, and I watched as a flutist ambled on to the stage, practiced the hard bits, then ambled off again.  A harpist did the same.  As the start time approached the orchestra arrived at random, and it was only when the conductor arrived, and the violin soloist, that things started to look organised.   Even in our little concerts at the music school, the band arrive at the same time, in file, to take our seats together.


James Higham said...

But the performance was not as casual as that?

Mark In Mayenne said...

No the performance was formal, as expected. Good too :)

CherryPie said...

I was surprised to see a disposal box for sharps in the gents' toilets.

Perhaps a place for needles that diabetics (and similar) have to use to test their blood levels?

The Symphony Hall looks fabulous :-)

Mark In Mayenne said...

Always a possibility, but my sugar testing needle has a needle holder that can be discarded without exposing anyone to the needles, though I don't know about syringes for insulin injection.

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