Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Duchess Goes to the Symphony

I'll bet you never knew the Duchess of Depravity likes classical music. Well, I do. Though my normal preferences run to Bach and Mozart, last night was Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto, plus the premier of a local composer's work, "First Coast Fanfare" and the Jacksonville Symphony's Choir sang Mendelssohn. Whew! Full evening.

I got all dolled up in my favorite blood red silk pantsuit and pearls, too. What? I refuse to wear a dress. Ain't happening. I even got married in a silk and linen pantsuit. This Duchess doesn't do pantyhose unless forced at gunpoint. Yeah, I looked like a proper old lady. Even Dante looked pretty snazzy in his suit, but our host Mark is such a handsome devil, he'd outshine everyone.

The premier of "First Coast Fanfare" by Piotr Szewczyk was lovely, IMHO. Mark and Dante were less impressed and even called it a "cacophony." Well, too bad. I thought it did a marvelous job of expressing how diverse the local culture is, from the Caribbean flavor to the thunderstorms to the congested traffic of downtown. Mr. Szewczyk was also one of the first chair violinists, so I was doubly impressed.

Then came the chorus and symphony with some expressive renditions of Mendelssohn's Psalm 98 and 114, in both German and English.

Then, the highlight of the evening was Mr. Arnaldo Cohen on the piano, playing Rachmaninoff Third Concerto No. 3 in D minor by memory. Yeah, the man played the entire 40 minutes without a single sheet of music in front of him, with his fingers flying most of the entire time. Wow! He deserved those incredible curtain calls. I was in awe after the first five minutes.

After the concert, we three decided to walk across to the Omni hotel for a drink in the lounge while the traffic settled. Lo and behold, who should walk in but Mr. Arnaldo Cohen himself! We thanked him for his brilliant performance and allowed the poor man to rest, have a drink, and enjoy his meal. I excused myself for a quick little comfort break, and when I came back, the guys had a little gift for me. They'd asked Mr. Cohen to sign my program book!

Whee! I had a little fan-girl moment. Oh yes, I did! This man was a member of the famous Amadeus Trio for five years! He's like a rock star for the classical set. I'll probably mark my program with a beaded book thong to remind me why I kept it and put it on the shelf, but it's a lovely memento of a glorious evening.

1 comment:

T said...

Oh that was so sweet. I am glad you enjoyed the performance. I would have enjoyed seeing it. Congrats on the coup of having your program signed.
Frame it or display it and remember.

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