The Vienna Philharmonic was phenomenal. an orchestra tickled my ear drums in a way I had never experienced before.
Upon entering the hall I noticed that, with the formerly long-standing tradition of an all male orchestra in mind, I can't help but wonder why the architecture portrayed a massive array of full-figured bare-breasted women and only a few busts of men.
|(Not my photo)|
I noticed the impeccable balance first, followed by how tight the group was. One could convince me that every single one of the members were related. They were tight as family. In the beginning of the Beethoven I heard secretive strings. Then you hear a horn standing in the back of the small crowd trying not to be noticed but it's meant to be there. It makes its presence hinted at but not disruptive. For some reason.... this made me think of my kids. What was the difference? What would one of my beginning band students say if they were with me? "It was too quiet. The horn was too quiet." To which I would respond, "Was it too quiet if that's what Beethoven wanted?" I pondered that if they played a piece that called for them to be subtle and controlled, they would struggle because a beginning band student's priority is to be cool by being heard no matter what. A young horn would stomp on the strings. While listening to the Vienna Philharmonic play, my mind spun memories of my kids and how they were no where near entering the ensemble mindset. they were still worrying about themselves, and they will continue to for years.
Stravinsky was the original movie scorer. He wrote music fit for films before it was cool. I completely understand why his music would cause riots. I would not be surprised to know people were frightened by Stravinsky concerts.
These types of ensembles can't be judged through the same lens. orchestra is the elegant woman that draws your attention with her beauty and subtlety. Wind Ensemble is the eccentric virtuosic tyrant that commands your attention with untamed innovation. Yes, orchestras can party too, but to me they get crazy in different ways. While Wind Ensembles will always have a special place in my heart, I can't deny that Orchestra will always have the antiquity and wisdom that wind ensemble can only attempt to imitate. They are the masters of historic preservation. Wind Ensembles cant take that away. And there's no doubt a wind ensemble's got nothing on the Vienna Philharmonic.
A day to tell my grandchildren about, of course.