Saturday, July 10, 2010

His first concert

Well, technically not his first concert because early in the school year they went to a Music in the Classroom event in the Helix, so for the sake of argument let's say that Tuesday was The Seven-Year-Old's first trip to the National Concert Hall. And my first trip in far too long. I figured a summer lunchtime concert would be a good introduction, as the program is short and the music's not too demanding. The theme this year is "Musical Postcards", so as you'd expect each concert features the music of a particular country. Tuesday's was "Northern Lights: Norway". Would there be Grieg? Well, name another Norwegian composer. Sinding, of course. And Halvorsen and Svendsen and Tveitt. Yeah, okay, your imagination exceeds that of whoever programmed this concert. We got Grieg. But things were complicated by the fact that each concert also features a "rising star" who gets to show off their talents. Sadly nobody seems to have thought to match "rising star" with "musical postcard". So mezzo Rachel Kelly sang arias by Mozart, Rossini, Handel, and Meyerbeer. I guess she did a good job - we were up in the side balcony so she was projecting away from us; the audience applauded warmly. I thought before the concert that her contributions would seem out of place, mingled among the Grieg (the program went Grieg - 2 Norwegian Dances; Mozart; Rossini; Grieg - a Symphonic Dance; Handel; Meyerbeer; Grieg - another Symphonic Dance) but in fact it was the Grieg that seemed incongruous by the end. After "Sta nell'Ircana" from Handel's Alcina and "Nobles Seigneurs, salut!" from Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, you're in the mood for more opera, not folksy Grieg. So the end of the concert was something of a damp squib for me.
As for The Seven-Year-Old, he'd lost interest by the end of the second Grieg piece, but he stayed well behaved for the rest. Maybe if the Black-Eyed Peas had been playing he'd have enjoyed it more.

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