This week has been a very slow week at work, and this has been a very welcome change after the last six weeks or so. I did not have to work late a single night this week, and this has been welcome, too.
Of course, Joshua and I have been spending the week at my parents' house, working on our travel itinerary each night, and we have been having a lot of fun, and so have my parents. We love to go through travel books--even old, out-of-date ones--and we have been having a ball, reading such things as London Fodor guides and Michelin guides dating as far back as the early 1970's. It is amazing how much in London has changed since then. There were major museums in London in the 1970's, no longer extant, that I had never even heard of.
This weekend is the final weekend of subscription concerts by the Minnesota Orchestra. Joshua and I were not planning to go, but my parents, who never miss the final weekend, very much wanted us to go with them, so we are going to go tonight in order to please them.
The orchestra will be performing the Mahler Second. We all seem to be getting more than our share of Mahler recently--the Minnesota Orchestra performing the Mahler Sixth under Conlon in October, the Oslo Philharmonic performing the Mahler Fifth under Saraste in Hamburg in November--and I fear that we may be in danger of becoming satiated. A snowstorm caused us to miss the chamber orchestra version of "Das Lied Von Der Erde" by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in February, but we will be hearing the Seventh three months from now.
I think that this is quite a lot of Mahler within such a short period of time, and I am not truly in the mood to hear the Second tonight. I like to hear Mahler in the dead of winter, when the sky is grey and the weather is bleak. Today is beautiful and sunny, and it will still be sunny when we enter Orchestra Hall tonight, and this will not provide favorable Mahler conditions as far as I am concerned.
This week is the first week since before Christmas that someone in my office has not been trying to give away Minnesota Orchestra tickets for the weekend. I waited until today to see if someone here in the office would offer tickets at the last minute, but there have been no offers, so at Noon I called my father to let him know (he had had the orchestra hold back two tickets for Josh and me in the event that I was not offered free tickets here at the office).
I rode to work this morning with my father, and my mother drove Josh to work this morning. Late this afternoon, my mother will pick up Josh and drive downtown, and we will all have dinner together before the concert.
One of tonight's soloists is Jennifer Larmore, who we last heard exactly one year ago in recital in Saint Paul. The other soloist is Helena Juntunen, a Finnish soprano who I have never heard. It will be interesting to hear what Vanska does with the Mahler.
Tomorrow Josh and I are going to do some more yard work, and tend to that painting job we had planned to do last weekend. Tomorrow night we are all going to Saint Paul to hear Vivica Genaux, who will be singing Haydn's "Arianna A Naxos", the great scena that was long a Janet Baker favorite, and Carl Loewe's "Frauenliebe", an 1836 setting of the same Chamisso poems more famously set by Schumann. We are looking forward to that very much.
Sunday, after church, my parents will be spending the day with my mother's relatives, and Josh and I will go home for the first time in a week. Josh and I will take my parents' dog with us, so that he will not have to spend the day by himself. We will take him out and do some running, and take him to the park and play some games with him. He will love it.