Saturday, January 9, 2016

Le quattro stagione

The 4 seasons Italian style: most restaurants offering pizza offer the 4 seasons option usually without explanation. I prefer spring, the artichoke quadrant

Pretty town, Lake Garda on Lake Garda where we had our 4 seasons pizza
Last night in the dense fog, we were off to see the Detroit Symphony perform Vivaldi's The Four Seasons at the Cherry Hill Village Playhouse. Apparently they have a program to bring culture to the local towns including the small village Shanna lives in. Steve predicted the program would be short, 40 minutes tops but as it turned out, they played Mendelsohn and some Shubert too.

Years ago, we ate dinner at my then new boss's house with his wife. He had set up background music, a loop of La Primavera over and over. Apparently he didn't have the other 3 seasons but at least it was the best season. L'autunno for instance is sort of boring.

The star of the performance was a beautiful Korean woman, Chee-Yun Kim, a renown violin virtuoso. She was fascinating to watch with her arms flying, waist length hair swinging all around. Threads of something hung to her bow which she tried to clear in the few milliseconds she wasn't playing. I assumed she kept tangling her flying hair in the bow; Steve thought her vigorous playing was shredding the bow. She seemed to collapse from exhaustion at the finish.

Towards the end of spring, there is a transition from the major to the minor chords that are so haunting beautiful. This alone makes La Primavera one of my favorite pieces. Steve prefers L'inverno though not in real life. We recently were offered a chance to go snowshoeing in our escape from winter later in the month. Snowshoeing in the mountains seems like diving right into winter, more winter than we are escaping from. Still mulling that over as it is probably beautiful. I am leaving that up to Steve.

Are all string instrument players right-handed? This is what I pondered during L'autunno. If lefties are 10% of the population , there should have been at least 2 there. My ex-coworkers seemed to have a much larger percentage of lefties, over 50%. Are scientists in general more likely to be left-handed?

And what season is it today. Not winter which is too bad for the planned Ice Festival. Should I start to run today? It has been almost 6 weeks....


Elephant's Child said...

Your body will soon let you know if it is too soon to run.
I am intrigued by the thought of left handed string players. Could be difficult to organise in a big orchestra.

Anonymous said...

It is hair, but not the musicians. I have seen violin players pluck loose hair after loose hair during a concert. It is a wonder they have anything left on the bow.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I did read up a bit more on this musician. One of her violins is a nearly 500 year old Ruggeri. It had been buried for 200 years with its former owner. Questions abound on that one. She also plays a Stradivari (made in 1707 so newer) which is on loan to her via a car company.


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