Monday, April 18, 2011

balm

The concert Saturday night was sublime. I've promised myself to take more advantage of what's offered around here. So often I'll see a musical group or a speaker scheduled at one of our local colleges and I'll think, "That would be fun/interesting/edifying" but I won't make time to go. This year I've vowed to make an effort, so when I saw the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet would be HERE, I got tickets.

Two songs into the program every fiber of my being felt serene while the music filled my ears, my heart, my spirit. It sounds pretentious to say "I love classical music," but it's true, I do. I have since childhood. I love the steady rhythms, the flowing melodies, the soaring notes, the marching determination of Bach, the lilting sway of Brahms, the precision of Mozart. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy singing along to metal, Manilow, Minelli and Madonna. But most of the time I prefer no words, just the sound of instruments. Lyrics get in the way of my appreciation, they're distracting and conjure too specific of an interpretation. I even find full symphonies too overwhelming--string quartets are my preference when it comes to musical groups. One doesn't traditionally think of guitars as classical instruments, but LAGQ brings the classics to life with humor, creativity and brilliance.

It was amazing to watch these men bring forth such sounds from their guitars--their fingers moved so fast their hands looked still. The program was a nice mix of Renaissance music along with some contemporary classics. What a lovely thing to sit back and let the music wash over us, not do anything but enjoy the moment, savor the pleasure of it.

Their talent and skill was awesome. I'm so glad I went--live performances bring you into art like no other venue. And I'm thankful to Mr. D for being my date for the evening.

Spill it, reader. Who have you heard live lately?

19 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh---I love classical guitar! I really need some balm today...either that or it'll be a beer at 9:30 in the morning!

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  2. I should go out more, but most events are usually an hour's drive away. We did see Jake Shimabukuro, who was fantastic.

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  3. I love classical music, too. The last thing I saw live was probably our suburb's symphony orchestra. I have my ipod full of good stuff...my fave and hard to find is Serenade for Strings. I love it because it reminds me of the ballet that is set to it. DOTR is so funny because he thinks any classical piece he hears was either 1)in the Nutcracker, or 2)played at our wedding. Usually he recognizes it from cartoons.

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  4. I love LAGQ! We haven't had them here in years, but I did see them once. Fabulous show - they are so innovative. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. My uncle is a professional pianist and he plays some of the most beautiful stuff. It's been ages since I've been to a concert of any type though. I think last time I went was probably 6 years ago - I took my youngest brother to see The Blue Man Group. They were really fun!

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  6. Sounds awesome! I haven't seen anyone live in a long, long time.

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  7. I heard a local collegiate group perform the Mozart Requiem right before we went on vacation. It was beautiful.

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  8. You mean, I can leave the house and go hear someone make music? In a public place?

    I adore classical music, or as we used to say in church choir, music written by men in tights. Palestrina, Tallis, Byrd. Gimme that old time religion...

    Me, I can't even get anyone to go to Handel's Messiah with me. My husband and I used to go out to a lot of classical and folk concerts. My son prefers Katy Perry and there seems to be little hope for him.

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  9. Little guy performs with the community singers and they just had their spring concert!

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  10. The last concert I went to was Justin Currie, in Milwaukee (he's the lead singer of Del Amitri, now solo and amazingly he gets better all the time at writing really dark lyrics, which I love).

    Other than that, it seems to be just choir concerts, cheering my daughter on, which is also very enjoyable in its own way.

    I grew up with a lot of classical music, and the sound of my dad playing classical piano is the background to many of my memories. I don't often play it myself, but I do love it when I hear it.

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  11. ME!! I recently found an opportunity to sing with a local church choir in a concert they were presenting. It's the first formal singing I have done in almost 20 years and it was WONDERFUL!! My favorite of the pieces we sang was Mozart's Laudate Dominum - I love the flow and the sweetness of Mozart's music.

    A week on, I am still riding the high from that performance. I haven't yet found a local church so I am going to continue singing with the choir and maybe this will become my new church home.

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  12. The last band I saw and heard live was the band that played at the casino's New Year's Eve party. I haven't been to a concert in ages. I used to, quite a lot, back in Amsterdam where it was more readily available. Sometimes I really miss it. There is nothing like live music.

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  13. Does any live performance count? I took my kids and DH and dad to a small-theater reading of several american folk stories last night. We were in the front row and it was wonderful, and the kids were totally engaged, even an hour after their bedtime. The show closed with "This Land is Your Land" which I guess counts. Otherwise, I took DS to a Stomp-Meets-Cirque show called Traces last week. I LOVE living in a medium size city.

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  14. It's been awhile. I really love the summer concert series in our local park--just local cover bands, but it's so nice to be with all your neighbors on the grass on a summer evening.

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  15. Only my husband and my kids ;)

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  16. Hmmm... I've heard various local bands, and a year ago I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert (AWESOME!). But my boys all play guitar. I've been trying to get them videoed, but the moment I get the camera out they deteriorate, 'Flight-of-the-Conchords' style. Bah.

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  17. The last concert I went to was OneRepublic and Maroon 5 and they were both kind of amazing. I always feel like any music is better live.

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  18. Not pretentious at all to say that you enjoy classical music!

    Just sayen.

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  19. We went to a children's choir concert two weeks ago and it was pretty fantastic. I love classical music too, never apologize!

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Spill it, reader.