Why Classical Music Should Be Heard Live
I recently got to attend my first symphony...and it was an absolutely amazing experience I believe everyone should have.
I have enjoyed listening to classical music for years and my husband and I have often remarked that we should try to see an orchestra perform pieces live, but somehow we never got around to it. Until now!
Last weekend we attended the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's performance at The Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence. They had guest pianist Joyce Yang in from New York for the show and she, along with the rest of the Orchestra, were fantastic.
The night started with an introduction from RIPO music director Larry Rachleff. Rachleff was also the conductor for the evening and his ability to put the audience at ease was much appreciated.
All of the pieces were amazing
My husband and I weren't quite sure we'd fit in at the symphony. We had never been, really didn't know too much about classical music (other than that we both like to listen to it while doing housework) and didn't want to appear to be newbies with no clue.
But Rachleff throws all of that apprehension right out the window for you. He introduces the pieces being performed with facts about the composer, what inspired them to write the piece, what other composers they were influenced by and other information to really make you feel you know the piece (even if you've never heard it before.) And he does it all with a sense of humor that was unexpected, but completely appreciated.
All of the pieces were amazing, but it was the Sibelius that I thought I could listen to forever. It was just such a beautiful symphony with lots of changing tempo. The soft subtle sections to the thundering sections where every instrument seemed to be playing at their loudest. It was simply captivating, as was the piano playing of Joyce Yang.
Yang and her piano were the focal point both visually and musically for the Mozart concerto and we had great seats to see her play. Yang was as beautiful to watch as she was to listen to.
Her playing during the softer moments of the piece were like liquid with their fluidity, her fingers seemed to just float over the keys effortlessly. And on the more intense sections of the concerto she would hunch over the piano with such focus while her hands moved like lightening.
Overall the live classical experience was one I hope to have over and over again. I would definitely make it a point to see the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra again and certainly recommend the same for anyone who loves new musical experiences.