Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Night at the Symphony

As was mentioned in an earlier post, we went to the symphony last Friday to celebrate Dave's birthday -- and as a double date with Marcia and Jason, good friends from the New Mom's group.

The evening started out with dinner out at "It's All Greek To Me", a restaurant that Natasha and I had *seen* many times before, but never actually taken the opportunity to go to. After a bit of running around downtown (literally!) looking for the place, we eventually found it, and enjoyed a *great* meal.

Then it was off to the Winspear for the symphony. The main feature of the concert was Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, although this wasn't actually performed until the second half. The first half consisted of a piece for strings by Mahler, and a symphony by Shostakovich, both of which were very nice, but not quite what we were most excited about. Then, after the intermission, the piano took centre stage, and we were treated to an amazing performance by Alexander Korsantia, a Georgian pianist. He was a very intense, emotional performer, to the point where Natasha thought he might fall off the bench after one particularly dramatic flourish. I was particularly impressed at the way that he was able to play with -- and, at times, over! -- the rest of the orchestra, and his ability to draw melodies and themes out of very complex passages that made use of the full range of the piano.

During the intermission, Marcia, Jason, Natasha and I had an entertaining conversation about the connection between Rachmaninoff's concerto and a certain piano-themed Hollywood movie. We eventually determined that the piece we had come to hear was not featured in "The Piano"...
... a movie about a mute woman who moves (along with her piano) to New Zealand in the 1850's... nor did it appear in "The Pianist"...
... a movie about a Jewish pianist who dodges Nazis in WWII Poland... but was, in fact, "Shine"
a movie about an Australian pianist who learns the piece and suffers a nervous breakdown... which is entirely different from Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining"...
... which means that Natasha is now willing to see "Shine" (although she still refuses to watch "The Shining"!)

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