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Beautiful Music!!! (2003-05-15 - 9:17 a.m.)

Last night was the most awesome night! Way back in March (right around my birthday), I discovered that the Philadelphia Orchestra was coming to Fort Worth in May to do a benefit concert. My wife agreed to get the tickets as a birthday present for me. Well, the concert was last night. Fort Worth was blessed beyond her wildest dreams last night! I am almost in tears as I write this. I heard the most beautiful live music that I have ever heard in my entire life last night at the Bass Hall! Our seats were just about perfect. We sat in what they call the Partierre Circle (I have no idea how to say that), Row Y, seats 1 and 2, right on the aisle. That put us about 20-30 yards left of center stage. We were also about 5 feet back from the leading edge of the balcony. I have always had professors tell me that just under the balcony was the best place to sit in any auditorium, as far as acoustics go. Well, I can tell you, they were "spot on!"

Yakov Kreizberg conducted as the Philadelphia Orchestra began with the Robert Schumann Symphony No. 4 in D Minor. Now I have never heard this piece, but I fell in love with it. It is different than most symphonies, as there was not a clear definition between four movements. I heard only one really clean break, yet there were four movements in the piece. It was also very clever in its composition and orchestration. I can't really say much else about it after only one hearing, but that I loved it, and shall attempt to obtain a recording of it for my library. Now on to the main course: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor ("Pathetique") by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky. My friends, I was nearly carried away to heaven on angels' wings! This is one of my favorite symphonic pieces, and I know it quite well. My favorite recording of this piece was done by the very orchestra that I heard last night (although different personnel, I'm sure) and conducted by Eugene Ormandy, my favorite Philadelphia conductor. What I heard last night blew that recording sky high!! People, I can barely type right now. Yakov Kreizberg gave the most brilliant interpretation of that piece that I have ever heard! Oh, the lush sounds of the violas and cellos! The brass of one of the world's foremost orchestras just about parted my hair. (Only one critical complaint: I never thought it possible, but the trombones were a bit overpowering a couple of times. But then they were pointing straight at me with no deflection between. Also the principal trumpet "bleeahed" a very important note...other than that, the performance was nearly flawless!) I am still formulating the realization that I actually heard the Philadelphia Orchestra last night. In little ol' Fort Worth, Texas! And let me tell you, after being in downtown Chicago? Probably at least 10 times bigger than FW. Probably more than that. Lest I be criticized, I'm not even talking about population, simply downtown spread. But I digress. The Tchaikovsky will remain a high point of my life for many years to come. I do believe that I was every bit as happy as ghostiness after that hug from James Marsters.

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