Back in May, I got an email announcing that the Mann Center was giving away tickets to most all of their Philadelphia Orchestra concerts over the summer. Happy day! Needless to say, I immediately obtained the maximum of 4 tickets to every single one that was available. So we now have a summer full of fun and free concerts!
Last night was the first of our 2008 outdoor musical adventures. One of my favorite things about the Mann is that it's outside and you can bring a picnic and relax and if you wanted to just fall asleep while listening to beautiful music, it would be okay. I never really got offended when people fell asleep in my orchestra concerts (namely, my mom :)) because I figured if the music were bad, it wouldn't lull them into a sweet slumber. Anyway, so last night, we went with our dear friends Jen & Audrey in celebration of Jen's second-to-last night in Philadelphia. We took salads and drinks and fruit and it was delightful.
As the season opener, it was an incredibly diverse program, but it came together in a unique and wonderful way. First up (after the national anthem, obviously...which is actually one of my very favorite part of Mann Center concerts) was Copland's Appalachian Spring. Glory of glories. Oh my. I love Copland in general - he's probably my favorite composer - but listening to the outstanding Philly Orchestra performing him on a simply stunning evening was breathtaking. I actually looked up at the perfectly dusky clouds and commented to Dan that if those clouds were to have music, that would be it. Wow.
Next was the phenomenal Yo-Yo Ma playing Saint-Saens' first cello concerto. I'd never heard him perform before, and boy was it incredible. His tone and control and precision were all flawless.
After intermission was Musorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain and Stravinsky's Firebird suite. Both have fond memories, as Dan & I studied the first in our History of the Symphony class years ago (cue Fantasia), and the Orchestra played the latter in a concert to which I took my parents.
Anyway, this post is probably really boring to read but I pretty much adore the Mann/the Philly Orchestra/music in general so clearly I had to detail it out.