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Beethoven on a birthday … birthday blog #2

A few weeks ago, a man invited me out on a date for April 4th, and surprised me with tickets to the Van Wezel to see, hear, experience, and swoon, to the music of Beethoven. He intended the concert to be an early birthday present and it was … but it’s still resonating with me over a week later! In fact, this morning, I’ve been giving my cats a concert of my own — playing at top volume the soundtrack to that fabulous film, Immortal Beloved

But my date didn’t just take me to hear any Beethoven — it was a performance of his Symphony No. 9 aka Ode to Joy. The last time I went to the symphony was just after my divorce when I treated myself to a ticket to hear an all-Beethoven concert (but not #9) at Boston Symphony Hall.

Boston’s Symphony Hall is timeless, classic and intimate. It would be a hard act to follow, especially since I’ve never been too kindly inclined toward the Van Wezel — it’s so, well, ugly on the outside — I mean, purple? really? — and I’m just kind of horrified at how poorly the seating is designed.

No middle aisle for starters and an obscene, money-hungry and classless cramming in of seats in that has resulted in a truly unsophisticated experience for anyone wishing to have an evening that soothes rather than rankles the sensibilities. The deplorable climbing over of knees and ankles, and stepping on feet and scrunching up of otherwise dignified folks — it’s beyond the pale, really, for a venue that wishes it was top-drawer but unfortunately will never rise above the evidence of its grasping greed as long as it subjects paying guests and season subscribers to such tortuous and unsophisticated seating.

But, I digress. The concert was stupendous. Leif Bjaland’s conducting was passionate and moving; the symphony was proud and charming; the soloists were great; and the singers of the Key Chorale were simply fantastic. I was totally wowed. And it was a fabulous pre-birthday present … one that I’m still enjoying today on my actual birthday!

Posted on April 13th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
3 Responses to Beethoven on a birthday … birthday blog #2
  1. I respectfully disagree MC as I went to the concert too.I have been to many concerts at the Van Wezel and always was satisfied.The seats are great and it is so easy to park and get home.My only complaint are some snobs that saw the Beethoven…What attitudes Oh well..I thought it was great and no problems but I did observe what you said about people climbing all over the place but a small price to pay for such a great event.

  2. Well, actually, I think we agree — the concert was stupendous — absolutely first-rate. But the venue itself — the seating, I’m speaking of — is deplorable.

    Sorry I missed you there!!!

  3. I was the one tapping his foot and people looking at me.Hey I am from NJ what the hell do they expect….:-)


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