Monday, August 19, 2013

P & W

Prokofiev wrote it, "Peter and the Wolf" (1936), Disney switched it around (1946) and I listened to it in the one-room country school in the early 1950's.

Next spring, we are going to see it performed, and it will be the first time I have seen a live performance when the Virginia Symphony does it March 30, 2014...assuming the crick don't rise. In January and April, we will see "Bolero" and "Tchaikovsky's No. 6 Pathetique," respectively.

Both the Ravel and Tchaikovsky pieces are emotional, and I hope no one takes their own life after that fourth movement of Pathetique. Can't wait for this treat.

Just listened to a little bit of the Disney version of P & W on You Tube and the memories were really vivid. That room, Big Cut District 12, had a special smell on top of everything else, a combination of sweeping compound (does anybody know what that stuff was, and is it still used?) and a "school" smell. When it was too cold or stormy to go outside at lunch, Mrs. McKillip would sometimes let us play games, listen to her read a book or play a record, like the 78 rpm one of "Peter and the Wolf."

My vote was often for the record, but I have always been the kind who would play a song over and over until everyone else was ready to break the record or me!

Live performances of symphonic music are wonderful to me, as there is no electronic cluttering of the sounds, and once they are gone in that auditorium, they are really gone forever because those sounds will never be "live" again.

As many of you know, the symphony in Sioux City was special for me, and we are again lucky to be in a place that has a wonderful orchestra and a great place to perform, the nearly new Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. I still marvel that Klinger-Neal at Sioux City's Morningside College was built in 1964 and had such great acoustics.

At this stage of life, I have so much more discretionary time so it is possible to do some study on these pieces, get more familiar. Maybe we should rent Bo Derek's "10"? That came out 34 years ago. Doesn't seem possible, nor does it seem possible that Mary Cathleen Collins (Bo Derek) will be 57 years old this year. Whoa.

Can't wait to see and hear P&W, too, although I may yearn for that distinctive voice of Sterling Holloway.

Only thing that could make it better would be visitors to see it with us.

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