On a recent Monday morning I walked into the studio of Rochester's classical music station cradling a stack of CDs in one arm and a sheaf of news reports in the other. The news was not good. The sky threatened rain. I slipped a CD into the player and started a Haydn symphony, a cheerful burst of minty freshness. I followed that with Vivaldi's chirpy Goldfinch Concerto, a flashy set of trills inspired by the song of the European goldfinch, (a mouse of a bird that's not even gold, by the way.)
The music was sunny. But as the minutes ticked by, my mood darkened. It DID start to rain. More depressing stories poured into the newsroom.
At one point I actually thought to myself, “What annoying person picked all of this chirrupy music for a dismal Monday morning?”
After a long hiatus, I'm back, writing about music and arts in Rochester, New York.
The big excitement in my life is the prospect of seeing Christopher Seaman conduct Haydn's Creation this weekend.
It's an oratorio telling the biblical story of the creation of the world, the animals, and Adam and Eve, who promptly fall in love and avoid the snakes. Splendid! Someone who heard the first performance in 1798 wrote in a letter to the editor of a Vienna newspaper,
"Already three days have passed since that happy evening, and it still sounds in my ears and heart, and my breast is constricted by many emotions even thinking of it."
Coinidentally, the big Rochester garden show opened last weekend with a Garden of Eden theme. I missed it, but eyewitnesses reported fewer blooms than usual and lots of snakes.
Christopher Seaman will conduct the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and soprano Barbara Shirvis, tenor Michael Colvin, and baritone Stephen Powell. WXXI-FM will broadcast/stream the concert on Classical 91.5, 90.3 and wxxi.org on Wednesday, June 10th at 8:00 p.m.
One of my most important personal mantras is "Do not take yourself too seriously." In this spirit, I present to you Recession 2008: "Which Classical Composer Would Hypothetically Survive and Who Would Need a Government Bailout, The Tournament."