Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lunchtime Brahms

Tomorrow evening, after work, Joshua and I will go up to the lake for the weekend. It will be our first visit to the lake this year.

My parents have decided to join us. They look forward to a quiet weekend of peace and silence.

The dog will be assured of having a good time—and passing kayakers on the lake will be assured of being barked at!

For lunch today, Josh and I went to hear the second half of a Minnesota Orchestra concert. We were not interested in hearing—and frankly did not have enough time for—Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, played before intermission. American orchestras cannot play Schubert, and this week’s guest conductor, Helmuth Rilling, is not a Schubert conductor.

We timed our arrival for 11:30 a.m., right about the time we assumed the first half of the concert would conclude.

The second half of the program was devoted to choral music of Brahms: the great Nanie and the great Schicksalslied, both for chorus and orchestra, between which was sung Four Songs For Women’s Voices, Two Horns And Harp. The orchestra was joined in the Brahms by the Minnesota Chorale.

The performances were competent, nothing more, but Josh and I enjoyed hearing these rarely-performed works, and it was an odd treat to be able to hear them in the middle of the day.

After the concert, we grabbed a quick sandwich and headed back to our offices.


  1. I love the "Song of Destiny"! But I have never heard it live. I don't even remember seeing it programmed.
    Flabbergasting, isn't it?

    Have a good weekend at the lake.


  2. Dane, I love almost all of Brahms' choral music, even the Funeral Hymn and the Song Of Triumph.

    I heard Nanie in concert once before, and I think I heard Schicksalslied in concert once, too, but I cannot recall where or when.

    The Opus 17 is the work I had never before heard in concert.

    I wish you a good weekend, too.


  3. andrew:

    what shall i bring to the lake?


  4. J.R.:

    Please bring ALL of your Cheryl Studer discs, as well as ALL of your Cheryl Studer memorabilia.

    We'll take care of everything else.


  5. I am not going to make it with you guys this weekend at the Lake after all. Bummer!

    Guess why: Cheryl Studer HAS invited me for tea at her chateau in France. Apparently, she HAS been reading our little innocent jokes over on my blog.

    She says she's ready to forgive me for saying things that were "malicious" and "inane" and "stupid".

    And she even offered to serenade me with a private concert to be held in the premise of the expansive lawn of her chateau.

    She wants to convert me. She wants me to forget all about Gheorghiu and Fleming.

    How about that, huh?

  6. J.R.:

    Please point out to Miss Studer that it was only yesterday that I officially went on record stating my great admiration for that hairdo.

    That should help alleviate her concerns, I believe.

    Enjoy the concert, and enjoy your weekend with Miss Studer.

    However, if I were you, J.R., I would take along a food taster.

    Better safe than sorry, don't you think?


  7. Will do, Andrew.

    Please accept my apologies for declining at the very last minute.

    Warmest regards to Josh and to your parents.

    I'm deliberating what to bring on my trip to France.

    Miss Studer just called to say that she wants to give me the royal treatment for the entire duration of my stay with her.

    For starters, a grand, stretch limo will pick me up at the airport. Followed by a parade in my honor from de Gaulle all the way to her mansion outside Paris.

    I think I'll wear my Dior frock coat, the one with a coat-of-arms insignia pinned on its lapel.

    I think Ms. Studer will be pleasantly pleased.

    Have a great weekend at the lake.

  8. Nevertheless, I'd still take along a food taster, in the event Miss Studer has some evil deeds in mind.

    I'd also make out a will before I go, if I were you.

    I don't want to appear to be grasping and greedy, J.R., but I hope you will leave me that Cheryl Studer hairdo photo.

    It would mean so much.

  9. Oh, okay.

    I'll mail that photo if you so desire it.


  10. Umm, I'm sort of two by two now.

    Going to France, I mean.

    Perhaps I ought to bring my cousin with me. The one that is 6' 4" and is very well built. He'll protect me from whatever Ms. Studer has in mind.

  11. We've already decided to send Rex with you, whether you like it or not.

    He'll have to wait for some other weekend to enjoy the lake.

    This weekend, he has guard duties in store!

  12. Now I feel really SAFE.

    That's mighty kind of you.

    Thank you.

    I promise to return Rex with me unscathed.

  13. One look at his teeth, and she'll be sure to mind her p's and q's.