In the Key of Heroism

The dogwood tree in our front yard in bloom

Last night, I had tickets to hear the St. Petersburg Philharmonic play at Memorial Hall on Campus. It was sublime.  Cellist Alisa Weilerstein performed Shostakovich’s Cello Concert No. 1 in E-flat major (Beethoven’s key of heroism) and it was so wonderful I almost wanted to shout out in affirmation that this is what has been missing from my life during college basketball season.  It is a pretty rare opportunity to be able to hear the orchestra that played the very same piece at its world premiere in 1959.  When people ask me what my favorite orchestral work is to hear live, I always answer the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1, because the amount of virtuoso passion present in that piece of music makes me want to leap from my seat and start living life more robustly.

During Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, I had a strange mental sensation that I have not had in quite some time. For a moment, I felt clarity. Granted, it was just a brief moment, and shortly after the conclusion of the work, all of the doubt and stress that had cluttered my mind prior to my arrival at Memorial Hall quickly returned, but I appreciate that moment.

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