After a lifetime of symphony concerts, recitals by the stars of the day, and the mega stars of our times, I enter each performance with the joy of just being there and with the hope that the spark of genius and an effervescent glow fills the venue and illuminates us all.
That rare alignment of the planets with genius has happened only 4 or 5 times during my lifetime of concerting. And only once during my own performances. The magic moment when you know an angel is sitting nearby or that the composer is smiling.
Last night the magic rush of expectation combined with the greatness of the works on display did not fill my soul with the pyrotechnics of a once in a decade gasp of delight. My enthusiasm was dimmed almost immediately when the Verdi sounded correct, but the lamp of genius did not illuminate. The fire fizzled out.
The Beethoven Sixth has been a staple of my musical life, being one of the first LP discs I owned as a child. My feelings are too conditioned and perhaps corrupted by childhood memories, and perhaps Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ to be unbiased.