this saturday and monday, the best band in stumpland is gonna play a wet & wild opening ditty by finnish god jean sibelius, a wicked violin showpiece by khachaturian, symphony #39 by joe haydn, and claude debussy’s blurry la mer.
why go? well, lemme tell you a story (with a lot of tangents): tuesday afternoon i blissed out to some music written by a composer i had never heard of before. to me, it sounded like gershwin – if he had been born to an armenian family living on the outskirts of tbilisi. the actual composer’s name is aram khachaturian (in case you’re wondering, i think it’s pronounced “catch-a-turian”). in 1948 he was forced to apologize for his music not being “soviet-enough.” [can you imagine a superpower government thinking classical music was so influential that it had to be policed like guantanamo or something? yeah, me neither.] anyways, aram died in ’78 and his portrait was printed on armenian money 20 years later. [i think you can learn a lot about a country by whose pic they slap on the currency, btw.] his fiddle showstopper is filled to the brim with wicked sliding notes in minor keys in foreign scales. the 3rd movement is so insane-sounding, i shot up from the couch in utter astonishment when i heard it for the first time. [i’m predicting at least 5 cases of whiplash during each live performance, but i digress.] in order to bring this music to life, the symphony is hosting a 29-year-old latvian fiddler named baiba skride playing a 286-year-old violin. to be clear, this is only one of four amazing numbers the band is gonna play. crazy, right?! catch the show saturday or monday night, or you’ll be sorry. an additional warning: after these concerts the symphony goes on spring break [cancun?] and the schnitz gets some shut-eye until april tenth. for peet’s sake, google orsymphony and get some tix.