big top ten

wow-wee: it’s hard to believe, but the first three classical shows are already dust in the wind… whatever you do, don’t let anymore pass you by.  to help boost your motivation, i offer a tried and true top ten list (even in particular order!) of reasons to check out a classical concert from the oregon symphony this season.  ahem, drumroll please:

#10 ~ the arlene schnitzer concert hall!  she’s a beautiful italian rococo gem whose sparkling chandeliers and marble statues were gratefully spared the wrecking ball

#9 ~ backstories!  composers who grew up in bell towers, piano songs for the left hand only, musicians making cameos on curb your enthusiasm… if you’re going to win on jeopardy, you really gotta know this shit

#8 ~ tradition!  what if i told you there was a century-old ritual of community elders gathering to experience trained musicians performing ancestral compositions… you’d be all over that, right?

#7 ~ buddhism!  a night at the symphony is a group exercise in focused mindfulness like no other

#6 ~ live theater!  every night is a performance where anything can happen… strings may break, bows might snap, cellos could explode

#5 ~ high fashion!  oh, those female soloists – if you count project runway and us magazine amongst your guilty pleasures in life, don’t miss the chance to see armani gowns and manolo blahniks on the flesh

#4 ~ it’s unplugged!  there is just nothing (and i mean nothing) like an unbelievably balanced, acoustic wall of sound flowing from a stage packed with gorgeous instruments

#3 ~ the musicians!  there’s no disputing the oregon symphony is portland’s first local band – and it’s filled with high caliber folks who have trained their whole lives to play for you.  at a time when other cities are losing their orchestras, we have a lot to be proud of… where the hell else are you gonna hear a professional contrabassoonist?

#2 ~ the music!  as a new-ish convert to classical music, i find the stuff utterly fascinating… pre-industrial mozart to romantic tchaikovsky to modern shostakovich

#1 ~ it’s holy-fucking-magic!  seriously.  dead masters come back to life… just gather bits of maple wood, copper, whittled reeds, sheep gut… combine with hide glue, ebony, goatskin, brass, horsehair… recite secret formulas in unison… stir gently… for the love of god, the conductor even has a magic wand… it’s alive!  it’s alive!!


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