We sat all the way on the right of the house, but close enough to see all the whites of their eyes. My mom and I took our seats next to an enormous woman dressed in sweats and wearing two pigtails, who immediately launched into all of her facts about orchestral music (I had no idea someone could be such a fan!)
While my Mom graciously nodded her head and kinda’ listened to the woman’s pontifications I gazed in awe at the beauty of Carnegie Hall. I looked up at the gabled ceiling, I counted the tiers leading to the roof, I felt the rich red velvet of the chairs we sat in, and read through the playbill. I felt like a little girl in the big grandeur of the auditorium.
This was the first time I had ever seen a Symphony orchestra play live indoors. I did see the NY Philharmonic in Central park this summer, but this was a completely different experience! The music vamped up and the sounds waves washed over the silent and intent audience like chocolate on a biscuit, coating everything in a rich layer of flavor. I’d shut my eyes and listen and imagine stories being played out for me, or I would open my eyes and watch the musicians as they swayed to the rhythms they were drawing (or plucking or blowing) from their instruments. It was beautiful.
As the little girl I felt I was, I remembered back to when I would dance in my grandparents living room when Grandpa played the NPR’s classical music selections on the radio. I’d imagine I was a fairy or a princess or a witch and I would stomp around on the white rug and dance on the couches and chairs, letting the music tell me what to do and how to act and feel. In the auditorium I felt no different. I felt my heart flutter and my skin get goose-bumps and my fingers picking out the beat to the tunes. At the end of each piece I would whoosh the air out of my lungs and inhale, as if by breathing too hard during the orchestration I would ruin the spell.
At one point there was a pause to the music and a lady a couple of seats closer to the front sneezed. She sneezed so loud that even over the striking up of the violins the Conductor hear her and looked over his shoulder at the insulting sound. I chanced a glance at my Mother who was stifling laughter and I giggled as well. Oh, memories. Carnegie Hall is worth millions of them.
I can’t wait to go back and hear more.
October 5, 2012 at 4:09 am by Natalie Allen