Last night I enjoyed a symphony concert with one of my piano students. The program was Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Franck’s Symphony in D minor. Our small town symphony has a tradition of bringing some of the greatest piano concertos to the stage.
I like to describe a concerto as a duet between a solo instrument and the orchestra. The piano (solo instrument, could be cello, violin, oboe, etc.) will play a melody and the flutes (horns, strings, etc.) will play it back to the piano. There are moments when the piano plays alone and the orchestra plays alone, but mostly they weave strands of melody in and out and around the varied instruments.
Last night’s concert was an unparalleled opportunity for a music lover in a small town in Oregon to see and hear a world-class artist. Our guest artist is from Monterrey, Mexico, and has played in Moscow, Vienna, Los Angeles, and Caracas. We had seats in the second row, with no one in front of us. I could feel the vibrations in my bones. There is nothing like live music.
You can see a sample of the Grand Ronde Symphony playing (not last night’s performance, but Tchaikovsky’s wonderful piano concerto) at this site. Scroll down to GRSO and click for the full image. The video is twelve minutes but watching the first five minutes will give you a feel for how blessed I am to live where amateur musicians play for the love of it. If you have unlimited time, the other videos are nice. Wallowa Lake is the gold nugget of our region (and the setting for The Shack); the video for Eagle Cap Excursion Train traces our drive to church every Sunday.
If you only have a minute, watch this video and get this lovely melody in your bloodstream today.