Saturday, May 24, 2008

Crash! Bang! Boom!

On Friday night, Linzy and I went to see the Minnesota Orchestra's perform as part of their Crash! Bang! Boom! percussion festival. I bought the tickets for Linzy for her birthday, as she used to be a very accomplished viola player in high school and I thought she would enjoy seeing the Orchestra.

The performance was interesting, and fun to see. The orchestra performed the "Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila", the "Carmen Suite", and Rachmaninoff's "Symphony No. 3". Ruslan and Ludmila was my favorite, although the Carmen suite was pretty entertaining at times as well.

For the Carmen suite in particular, they had four percussion players going crazy on almost 50 different percussion instruments. Including one that was listed in the program as "whip". I was hoping to see someone cracking a bullwhip over the heads of the orchestra, but alas that didn't happen.

Our tickets were in the fourth row, so we could see most things really well. There was a moment of panic when I checked the tickets for the first time the night of, only to discover that they were Row 4 seats 9 and 11. Which I thought meant I had somehow screwed up the ticket ordering and that we weren't actually sitting together. As it turned out, the seats were together and the odd numbers meant that we were slightly to the left side of the stage. Which is good, because Linzy did seem to be finding my 'mistake' amusing or endearing.

I got a kick out of being able to watch the musicians and their individual playing styles. The Bass players and Viola players in particular seemed to attract unique characters. There was a Bass player who, when things got going fast, started puffing his cheeks in and out like a blowfish and another Bass player who basically headbanged along to the music while he was playing. Being so close we could see expressions, which was fun.

We were clearly not the normal demographic for attending a Minnesota Orchestra event, as we were probably half the median age of the audience. But Linzy really enjoyed the concert, which was the main point, and it was fun to get dressed up, go out for a fancy dinner and do something different.

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