On Saturday night, to initiate Mother's Day celebrations, I took my mum and dad to Roy Thomson Hall to see a casual TSO performance, which means the orchestra was dressed in white and blue shirts and khaki pants instead of black. That gave me a moment of pause, wondering about when orchestras started wearing black. Do you fancy it was from when they were all in a pit during ballets and rubbish and didn't want anybody to see them? Or even when they're on stage they don't want you to notice them and just pay attention to the music? Or possibly to the soloists' very attractive dresses? I don't know.
Anyways, we missed the first two things, which was a bitch, because my mum is a violist and there was Teng Li doing some crazy beautiful Mozart sinfonia, which we only sort of heard while we waited for applause from the vestibule so we could get our seats. But we did hear - from spectacular seats in the first balcony, which is lovely in lovely Roy Thomson Hall - Haydn's 100th Symphony and the overture to the Thieving Magpie from Rossini. I've never jizzed my pants over Haydn but I was so impressed by all the percussion in the 100th on Saturday. It was pretty hot. So funny now with a modern ear to hear percussion not as a throbbing underlying beat but as a melodic section that can turn into and out of something throbbing and underlying - honestly, it was hot. Not hot like "good", but hot like "Haydn must have been a beast in the sack."
As for Rossini - I have jizzed my pants over Rossini. Love him - he and mushrooms made me love opera, but I bet he could have done it alone, which is something because my other druggy musical fondnesses like speed and jungle or reefer and Captain Beefheart really need the drugs. Anyways, I've resigned myself to maudlin tears at most operatic performances, drugged or not, because my brain doesn't know what to do with that much beauty, but I don't cry at symphonies. Just sort of bop my head and quash the urge to "dum-dum-dum-dum" along. But mum was a veritable fountain of tears. That woman - when she goes to see nice symphonies, which tend to be more economical than operas, it must be like being on mushrooms. Lucky. Anyhoo, it was worth crying over - a really tight, almost tense performance of the overture - way better than any recording I've ever heard of it. And once more, HOT percussion.
Fucking hell, another work week.