October 8th, 2005

WS Ticket

Acht Sauschneider müssen sein

This title of the Haydn Capriccio in G Major was the opening work of a concert by András Schiff in Jordan Hall last night that rsc and I went to. It's based on a counting song - there must be eight pig-cutters - whose text loosely translated begins It takes eight of you to castrate a boar - two in front, two behind, two to cut, two to bind....

Following this piece he played Haydn's Sonata no 53 in E mi, a piece particularly nostalgic for me since this one I worked on 50 years ago when I was taking piano lessons. I still have my copy of the music, somewhat yellowed and dried out. I occasionally try a bit of it but occasional piano playing doesn't work very well at all. It is still tempting and inspiring, but I will only do it if no-one can hear me. I was surprised at the speed of the first movement so I asked Robert "Is the first movement usually played so fast?" and he replied, "It is marked Presto:" and then said I couldn't never play it at that speed".

The rest of the concert included two Beethoven sonatas and another Haydn plus a couple of encores. It was a very nice way to end the evening of a busy day that started with continued work painting the garage.

What made going to this concert somewhat bizarre is that we had just come from Fenway Park to see the RedSox flame out against the WhiteSox and fall out of post season play. I suspect we were the only people in the audience who entered wearing baseball caps. Fortunately no-one had spilled beer on me. The game was slow and by the time we had walked rapidly to the concert hall and got to our seats it was a couple of minutes after 8 but since they didn't start on time we missed nothing.

Baseball Parks and Concert Halls have their affinity. Ron Della Chiesa, the morning classical music host on WGBH, sometimes calls Symphony Hall the Fenway Park of concert halls - a title perhaps more suitable for Jordan Hall with its narrow aisles and small seats pointing in the wrong direction. On WCRB the announcer sometimes says - and the RedSox play the Yankees in Fenway Park tonight and the BSO plays Beethoven in Symphony hall tomorrow...

It's nice that at concerts people don't get up and walk in front of you while the artists are playing, there are no peanut vendors or people selling Beethoven Rally Monkeys, or audience members chanting "Let's Go Haydn" and banging their seats, nor tossing beach balls or doing the wave during the final crescendos of a rousing final movement.

Anyway, it was a nice baseball season - we went to 14 games at Fenway Park and two in Citizens's Bank Park in Philadelphia - the RedSox did pretty well in spite of weak pitching. And we'll be seeing which pig-cutters are back next year.