Two and a half hours of musical rhapsody. Big. Triumphant. Grand. Two hundred voice choir and full orchestra. I recognized only four words all evening. Lord, Amen, Christ. Jerusalem. I do not know Hebrew or German. I couldn't read the translations in the dim light.
The music was movingly beautiful. The combined choirs were pitch perfect and full-voiced. The orchestra was unfailing in devotion and deliberation. Our maestro was full of controlled emotion and precise character. I was the one failing. I tried desperately to be swept away by the experience.
Did I mention the last performance was the Brahms Requiem? Lullaby man. Even with grandiose flair. Two rows in front of our seats, a man's head went from right to left all night long. I'm sure he was miserable wondering when his nightmare would end. Really, it was not a nightmare. I feel horrible even mentioning it but I hope our experience was atypical.
My mind wandered all over the concert hall, wondering how many other minds were wandering. Did I turn the iron off? Did I pay the gas bill? I can't remember if I stewed the prunes yesterday or Friday. She said she would call but now I think it is too late to accept the invitation. Are those daffodils ever going to come up? What I'm I going to wear Easter? I will try shrimp again this year at the beach. What is the Pantone color this year? I don't think the back of my hair looks good. These shoes are pinching me. How did I let her drag me here? I think I want scrambled eggs for dinner. Antiques Roadshow said it was the best example ever. I should have gone at intermission. Mmm, that violinist is having trouble with her bow. The soloist foot is almost hanging off the stage. I think Revenant will win Best Movie. The report is due Monday. I forgot to call my sister. The paint will be dry by tomorrow.
I once read that Prince Charles had just the cure for the sessions he must sit through. He began memorizing as a young man and falls back on that technique for keeping alert while sitting on a podium. Thank goodness we were not sitting front and center. We wondered how the soloists sat ramrod straight while waiting for their solos. Their heads did not bobble and they didn't yawn or close their eyes.
In the meantime, I was saying "The Swing" by Robert Louis Stevenson in my head and thinking about the days of yore when I still remembered "If" by Rudyard Kipling. Memorization is a tricky thing. It requires regular use.
I was sandwiched between two men. One was sitting ramrod straight but pushing the sleep odds which left him in physical tatters after the show when his body finally wanted to give into sleep but had to drive home. The other gentleman was my seat neighbor and towards the end, his man spreading was beginning to encroach on my propriety. I was not in danger of going to sleep between worrying about the Leaning Tower of Pisa on one side and the spreading situation on the other side.
This is really not a fair synopsis of the experience. For the time, the music hall was filled with rich and intricate tapestries of golden notes. I feel horrible for not fully appreciating the time and energy invested by so many. The official review was glorious. My little review is just one little experience. If you know me, you know I love my symphony and have all my life. But now I have survived. No dispersion being cast against the talent and drive offered up to these two wretched representatives of the human experience. I think we will stick to English.