Friday, June 24, 2011

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

The end of last month was a lot of fun.  Not only did I attend my third Child Life conference in a row, but was also able to cross something off my Bucket List; #8.  Some may view the fact I have such a list as morbid, but I look at it as motivation.  I do have Mitochondrial Disease, but no to worry, I'm not going anywhere soon.  I also could be hit by a bus on the way to the Allergist today so I want to make sure I do or at least aim for many of the things on this list.  While it currently has 38 items on it, there is no rule anywhere that says I cannot add to it as I see fit.  In fact, the last one just came to me a few seconds ago.

  1. Touch an elephant
  2. Sing Handel's Messiah in a chorus
  3. Attend a taping of Saturday Night Live (New York City)
  4. Go to the Kentucky Derby 
  5. Give life (donate blood, bone marrow, have a baby)
  6. Go to Ireland
  7. Visit Beethoven's grave (Vienna)
  8. Attend a live performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, preferably in Symphony Hall (5/24/11 in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra.)
  9. Go to the hairdresser and give them free reign 
  10. Go to a fancy occasion without my feet hurting
  11. Get a job as a Child Life Specialist
  12. Go to the World Series, preferably, in Boston ;).
  13. Attend a performance of The Holiday Pops in Boston (12/20/10)
  14. Go on a cruise
  15. Serve as an extra in a movie
  16. Read two books a month for a year
  17. Complete a 5k Walk
  18. Go horseback riding, again
  19. Take ballroom dance lessons
  20. Perform Moonlight Sonata, again
  21. Swim in the world's largest swimming pool (Chile)
  22. Visit a rain forest 
  23. Go to Australia
  24. Go rock climbing, again
  25. Go skiing, again
  26. Ride on the Orient Express (train)
  27. Sleep in an overnight train
  28. Ride The London Eye, again
  29. Name a star
  30. Visit The Four Corners (UT, CO, AZ & NM)
  31. Take a shower, or at least wash my hair in the rain
  32. Reach 20 followers on my blog
  33. Be recognized for my blog
  34. Distribute Halloween candy (yes, I have never done this)
  35. Watch the pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island
  36. Visit Hollywood Walk of Fame
  37. Attend a live performance of Mahler's 8th, Symphony of a Thousand
  38. Be involved in a clinical trial
On Tuesday, May 24th, I had an appointment at CHOP and after that we met my dad at The Ritz where we would be staying that night. (The Ritz isn't our normal.  However, because my dad has so many travel points from work it was better to use those than traditional money.)  We rarely stay in hotels in cities that are only an hour and a half from home, but that night we had to since my dad was driving from Pittsburgh which is six hours west and I would be leaving for my conference the next morning, or so we thought (different story).  

After we got changed in the hotel for our night out, we ate dinner at an interesting restaurant that had Thai, American and Japanese cuisine.  There is a specific term, but I forget what that is.  We then walked to The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts which houses The Verizon Center, home to The Philadelphia Orchestra.  

(Kimmel Center from Broad St., aka Avenue of the Arts)

(Outside Verizon Hall within The Kimmel Center)
The performance itself was two symphonies separated by an intermission.  The first symphony was Symphony of the Psalms by Igor Stravinsky.  This symphony was commissioned (written for) the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1930 to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  Unlike most symphonies, this was composed in three movements.  I studied this composition in more detail as a Music minor at Simmons College.  During one of my Music classes I attended two BSO performances at Symphony Hall in Boston; same place I attended the Boston Pops in December.     

After a brief intermission, the true magic of the night began.  I don't remember when I first heard Beethoven, never mind fell in love with his work.  I can tell you that nearly everyone has heard the very basic elements of his most famous work; The Ode to Joy.  I have even heard it used with television commercials.  I cannot describe every note of this glorious, adrenaline pumping piece of music, you'll have to do that yourself ;).  I highly recommend this recording, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by the great Riccardo Muti who is not only my favorite ;), but transformed the orchestra as a whole.  Muti is my favorite because he was with the orchestra when I was young and therefore had a strong role in my love of symphonic music.  (Don't worry, you can listen to Beethoven's Ninth on iTunes with their small snapshots, but that's nothing compared to having the whole thing and turning up the speakers).  
I would describe Beethoven's Ninth to an extent, but that could easily turn into a major undertaking, not only because this is easily my favorite piece of music ever written, yes ever...but also because my perfectionistic self would take over and my attempt at a "brief" description could easily turn into something comparable to a dissertation, complete with references.    

The interior is shaped like a cello allowing for optimal acoustics and for all of you who have ever sung in a chorus/choir, see those red seats below the organ, yes, you guessed it.  Unlike most situations, in Philadelphia, the choir gets cushioned seats; not risers.  So singers get to sit, yes, sit when appropriate, not stand for what seems like eternity.      

 I do have my own pictures, but those are on my parent's camera.  I will add those when I get them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics