After significant vacillation, I have become a subscriber to the Seattle Symphony. My previous reluctance has always been rooted in the seeming lack of choice. Other people have chosen the concert packages for me and I just have to pick the one that is the least offensive (because every package has at least one concert I want nothing to do with). I have preferred picking and choosing which concerts I want to go to, not relying on someone else to decide my tastes and cultural activities. Also, I tend to go to a lot and a subscription seems too limiting. Because Benaroya Hall is acoustically so wonderful, when I go, I prefer the least expensive seat so long as it has a minimal amount of sight line disruption.
However, the Seattle Symphony has always offered a three concert create your own series. Basically, you get discounted tickets and you get to choose what you want to hear. This approach intrigued me because I had my eyes set on a number (far more than my budget can handle) of concerts this year. In particular the SSO's traversal, along with pianist Vladamir Feltsman, of Brahms two piano concertos. Since I was already committed to those concerts, and I wanted premiere seats for the concerts, it was worth investigating if there was at least one other concert I wanted to attend (of course there is).
When I went to the ticket office to buy my tickets I was shocked to learn that the SSO now offered a five concert create your own package with an even deeper discount on tickets. Since I knew I would attend at least five concerts this year (probably many more) this package seemed like the best deal for me. Turns out, since my birthday is in October I get another ticket for free. All in all, I am getting six concerts for the cost of four and 20% off tickets for other concerts.
So what did I sign up for?
Lost of Brahms...
- Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1/Symphony No.2
- Brahms: Piano Concerto No.2/Symphony No.4
- Brahms: Tragic Overture; Schoenberg: Pellas und Melisande; Brahms: Symphony No.1
- Liszt: Prometheus; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1; Saint Saens: Symphony No.3 "Organ"
- Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde; Mahler: Symphony No.6
Clearly Brahms was the heavy favorite. Mahler made the cut too. I am desperately trying to hear as many live Mahler symphony performances as possible. There is a still a little matter of the free birthday ticket. I haven't decided which direction to go. More Germans or a taste of the French?