Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday W. A. Mozart

The title of my post really has nothing to do with the content, so I'm sorry if Google took you here looking for all sorts of details on the life of the classical prodigy. However, it is his birthday today, so I thought I should at least acknowledge it!

It's been a great musical weekend. Today I sang with the city's professional choir in a concert centered around the theme of "night", a popular topic of the romantic poet, mostly as a metaphor for other things like - lost love and death, and sometime even happy things. Anyhow, the repertoire was GREAT, and stretched from German Romantic masters such as Reinberger, Brahms and his lesser known contemporary Herzogenberg (what a great candidacy topic that would have been), and through the English 20th century, starting with Elgar through Sir Michael Tippett. I was also called on to the be the rooster crow in Ligeti's "Morning". Not exactly a solo career highlight - but pretty fun nonetheless.

The only problem was the weather. It was -40 with the wind chill today (for you on the Fahrenheit scale, that is ... -40. Yes, -40 is where Celcius and Farenhiet meet. Don't ask me why, I don't understand, and really don't need to. Basically, it was COLD - and still is, and will be for the foreseeable future). It was also snowing - not hard, but with the wind you'd think it was snowing eight times as hard as it was. So the hall, which holds nearly 1,850, was a little sparse. But they all seemed to enjoy it, and I know the choir enjoyed it too.

With my schedule the way it is, I really don't get a chance to sing with this choir that much anymore. I was a core member on and off (mostly on) for the last ten years, but the last two years I've had to cut back considerably, and the forecast for next year isn't much better. I do get to do one more concert this year, Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil, and after having conducted it last year, I am very much looking forward to singing it this year. It is a great piece of music!

Making this concert all that much more special was that this concert was conducted by my graduate supervisor - a friend, and mentor - who, coincidentally, shares Mozart's Birthday. I can't think of a better way to celebrate it, as he did today.

Post-concert? A warm furnace, a bottle of Californian Zinfandel, my wonderful wife, two warm cats and some low-hitting, yet mildly entertaining all-star hockey. Makes for a nice evening in from the cold.

Tomorrow - shoveling, and a little praying that my car will start, and one more evening with Bach and Handel.

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