Sunday, March 27, 2016

THE ROSE ORCHESTRA

When my son suggested we go to see The Rose Orchestra, my eyebrows did a flip upwards.

“Really? You want to go to the symphony?” I asked while trying to hide my negative feelings about sitting in a chair for a couple of hours to listen to violins and cellos, and maybe an occasional trumpet.

“Yeah, sure, why not?” was his reply.

“Well, okay, sure.” I gave him my credit card and he went online and made the arrangements. What else was I supposed to do? When your kid shows an interest in music, you don’t shirk that, you encourage it.

Last night, we got dressed in our Sunday best, and went to the show. I put away my pre-conceived ideas about the orchestra and went with an open mind. I’d listened to classical music before and was not entirely ignorant of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, and their symphonies, whole and in part, have played on the radio, TV, and in Hollywood movies. You’d have to have been born and raised in the wilderness not to have heard about these musical greats.

Parking was directly underneath The Rose Theatre (Rose Lane, Brampton) and free. It was easy to find our way up to the main box office and directions were given to our seat selections. People were standing by the café and bar on the main floor, chatting before the doors opened, which was a half an hour before the show. We waited around for a bit and when it was announced that the doors were opened we went to find our seats. My son chose balcony seating. Once we were seated an usher came over and gave each of us a program.

The show started at exactly 8pm with the Conductor introducing the first half of the concert and giving an introduction on the pieces the orchestra was going to play. I thought that was a grand idea and was pleased. I could see right away that there were at least a dozen different instruments in the orchestra, including the triangle and was puzzled, but somehow it was incorporated.

When the music began I was immediately entranced. It was a piece by Johannes Brahms called Academic Festival Overture and I was absolutely spellbound. It was quite uplifting.  It started out very forceful, and continued to excite.

When the solo violinist started playing in the second piece, tears filled my eyes. The Violin Concerto by Felix Mendelssohn was produced during the Romantic Era, hence the tears. The solo violinist was amazing and I wondered how long it took him to learn a piece like that. I assumed many, many years.

At intermission we went to the café to quench our thirst and stretch our legs. We were all quite impressed with the show so far. You don’t need to have a degree in music or have a great knowledge of classical music to enjoy the symphony; all you need to have is an appreciation.

Symphony 5 by Ludwig von Beethoven filled the air in the second half of the show. I was not familiar with the title, but when they started playing it I recognized it, as did my husband and son. It was a long piece, done in four parts. I am not familiar with the jargon, I do not know the difference between Allegro con brio and Andante con moto, nor will try to pretend I do. As I said before, you don’t need to know a lot about classical music to enjoy it.


The show ended at exactly 10pm. We left there with quite a positive impression and talked about going again. When I got home, I slipped into my fleece pjs and sat at the computer for a while, researching The Rose Orchestra and the pieces that were played. I found out that it’s a whole different world and one could easily get lost in it. Later, I went to bed and dreamed of playing the violin.