27 February 2011

12 March: Billings Symphony Plays Shostakovich's Symphony #5

I was wrestling with my urge to visit my brothers in Florida in March, and maybe take in a few Spring training baseball games; versus my longing to hear our Billings Symphony play the famous 5th Symphony of Shostakovich on March 12th.

Having health problems myself meant that I hadn't been away from Billings for over a year and thus was developing a kind of cabin fever, and I knew my youngest brother Tom was having health problems too. Mine were getting better but his were getting worse. So naturally as soon as my surgeons gave me permission I was eager to go.

At the same time, I've been wondering out loud for some years now why we don't hear any of Mahler's or Shostakovich's music.  So then I am confronted with the choice of visiting Tom in Florida or waiting to hear Shostakovich in Billings in March.

I had heard the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein's version of  Shostakovich's 5th on CD; and I knew a little about the monstrous Russian problems in the 30s so I guessed that there might be something amazing about the combination of these two. I looked around on the Net and found one of my favorites, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Orchestra, had started a new series called Keeping Score, the title alone is enough to attract my attention even before I discovered that one of the works that they had put together the history, the musicology, the moving picture techniques, and the magnificent live performance was Shostakovich's 5th Symphony in D minor.

I would still like to hear our Billings Symphony Orchestra play the Shostakovich and I recommend it thoroughly to those of you that can't go to Florida for Spring training. The sound is different on a CD or DVD versus in a  splendid concert hall as the Alberta Bair Theatre is. And seeing the players play adds to the experience.

But that is why I am also going to recommend getting or borrowing a copy of Keeping Score: Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. The wizards of history and musicology and sound and video just blow one away on this DVD and of course Michael Tilson Thomas is very good at explaining what is going on.

A photo is found on my other blog.

No comments:

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime

Downtown Billings in the SummerTime
At The BrewPub on Broadway

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix in the Winter Time

Good Cheese Here

Good Cheese Here
Vermont Cheddar & Minnesota Blue

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE

TAKE TIME FOR PARADISE
Dehler Park, Billings MT, July 2008 This is what Bart Giamatti recommends for good mental health.

Me and Joan

Me and Joan
Early elderly and middle middle age: We May Know Something You Don't

Mrs America

Mrs America
Fortunately these girls had a good-looking mother

Rimrocks @ Billings MT

Rimrocks @ Billings MT
“In beholding old stones we may feel our anxieties about our achievements–and lack of them–slacken . . . Vast landscapes [and seascapes] can have an anxiety–reducing effect similar to ruins, for they are the representatives of infinite space, as ruins are the representatives of infinite time, against which our weak, short-lived bodies seem no less inconsequential than those of moths or spiders.”—Alain de Botton in Status Anxiety

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral

Easter Sunday at St Patrick's Co-Cathedral
12 April 2009

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs

Pleasant Hillside at Hustisford, AKA The Grassy Knoll for you conspiracy buffs
A Lot of Muellers Are Buried Here