Monday, August 27, 2007

September is coming

And along with September the start of the Seattle Symphony's concert season.  I don't subscribe, maybe I should.  It is cheaper I suppose.  I prefer the ala carte method of buying my concert tickets.  Nonetheless, I do keep an eye out for specials. 

On September 14 the orchestra is offering one such special.  Its being billed as a preview concert.  For $10 you can get a ticket and hear selections by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Gershwin.  In addition to the music, there will be commentary from the podium.  I presume Gerard Schwarz will be offering some insight into the music he the SSO will be performing in the 07/08 season.  Should be fun, if for no other reason then I will get to sit in Benaroya Hall again and listen to live music.

September is a special month for my hometown orchestra - the Quad City Symphony.  Late in the month the orchestra will be performing a memorial concert for the recently deceased and long-time music director James Dixon.  the QCSO really is Dixon's orchestra.  Many of the section leaders are there because of him.  Long after he left, the audience still recalled with a nostalgic gleam the Dixon era. 

I think the idea of a memorial concert is a good idea.  What a better way to pay tribute to a man who gave his life to building Davenport's civic orchestra?  However, the pieces chosen my opinion...odd for a memorial concert.  The concert consists of:

  • Schubert: Overture "In the Italian Style"
  • Beethoven: Symphony No.4
  • Mahler: Symphony No.5; Adagietto

Of the three pieces, I get why the Mahler was chosen.  It is one of Mahler's most beautifully conceived and touching movements he ever penned.  The logic behind the other two pieces is elusive.  Maybe these were Dixon's favorite pieces of music.  Both are possible choices for favorites.  Dixon was a man very much connected to the German classical and romantic tradition. 

Maybe Bruckner's 9th Symphony would have been a better choice.  Bruckner was German/Austrian.  He was crazy for God.  And Bruckner wasn't able to complete his magnum opus before he died, yet it still concludes perfectly.  I think the 9th says more about Dixon and his life than the Overture "In the Italian Style."

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