An Evening at the Symphony

February 6th, 2012

I previously posted my plans to spend an evening at the Roy Thomspon Hall watching the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO).  I had a lovely evening with my dad starting with a home cooked meal.  After dinner, we walked over to Roy Thompson Hall to pick up the tickets and settle into our seats.

Roy Thomson Hall

Again, I’m not too familiar with classical music and distinct styles that the composers have.  It was great to watch the TSO in action. Not only did we get to hear the Emperor Concerto, we also got a second piece, Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 82 by Shostakovich.  Both pieces were very different.  While Beethoven’s concerto was more melodic and happier, Shostakovich’s piece was darker and noisier.

For those who are interested or curious about the run times for each piece, I’ve taken the following information from the programme provided by the TSO:

[Beethoven’s concerto] runs approximately 38 minutes in performance and is scored for solo piano, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and orchestral strings.  [Shostakovich’s piece, on the other hand,] runs approximately 57 minutes in performance, and is scored for 2 flutes, 2 piccolos, 2 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, E-flat clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, and orchestral strings.

I also enjoyed the visual aspect of the listening to classical music. Watching the violin’s bows moving in unison was eye catching and added more impact.  Their movements was more dramatic in the Shostakovich piece than with Beethoven’s concerto.  The musicians’ postures were intriguing as each had their own way of sitting to accomodate the instrument they were playing.  Even within the same instrument group, the individual musician’s posture and position was different.

TSO by Cylla von Tiedemann

The evening at the symphony was great and something I’ll have to do again one day. The TSO does have youth orchestra which will go on my list to things to do sometime in the near future.

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