Going to the Symphony – Being there

After my wonderful 7-11 tuna sandwhich, it was time to think about changing into the clothes I would wear to the symphony. Given I was already wearing a skirt and pullover top, changing in the suit I had chosen to wear to the symphony should be pretty easy. I had purchased this JNY suit on ebay almost a year ago but had not worn it anywhere. As I have mentioned before, I have become more casual in what I wear over the last few years. It was not long ago that I tended toward a more professional look, favoring skirt suits and pant suits over anything more casual. I had accumulated way too many such outfits along the way and have been loath to get rid of any of them as I love them all. Still, the opportunities to get dressed up are mostly limited to the symphony or some other classical performance like the ballet. Going to the mall in a skirt suit or other professional attire makes blending in harder.

The skirt suit I had chosen was a lighter shade of blue although not like a powder or pastel blue. It is sort of a hard color to define, almost like a steel blue.  Given it was almost like a spring day (although in the middle of winter) the suit fit in perfectly. If it had been cold or rainy, I would have worn something more somber but on a clear, sunny day it worked. The jacket had a zipper front without any decoration and without a collar. It almost looked like a more casual jacket but it was clearly a dress garment. The skirt was knee length and straight. I tried all sorts of tops but none really worked except for a sleeveless shell that had horizonal stripes across it. The stripes were in all sorts of shades of blue and so it worked with suit. The only problem is that it was a little tighter around the bust than I recalled. Still it was comfortable and looked nice with the skirt. My shoes were midheel black pumps that looked nice and were comfortable.

I ended up changing in a parking garage that was next to the mall. It was done in just a couple of minutes and I was on my way. I arrived at my favorite parking lot near Davies Symphony Hall and left my car with the attendant. He asked me “Ma’am, how long will be leaving your car” and I told him just a few hours. I paid my $10 and walked to Davies. I had printed out my ticket and so was able to get right in. I was almost 20 minutes early and so I killed some time wandering about. Shortly before the symphony was to start, I made a stop at the ladies room as the lines at intermission are often long.

I made it to my seat with time to spare. I sat in a short row of just 3 seats and the other two were filled with women who clearly had come together and were engaged in a lively conversation. Both pretty much ignored me. Since I had forgotten to get a program I entertained myself by people watching.

The first program was Mozart’s Piano Concerto #9. I had not heard it before but generally enjoy Mozart. Unfortunately I found it rather dull and unmoving. It was one of his early concertos but lacked, at least to me, the thrill and emotion of his later ones. The audience seemed to feel the same way as afterwards the applause felt a little unenthusiastic. The piano soloist played well, but it was just not that moving.

At intermission, I left my seat and wandered around the symphony hall. I purchased some bottled water that I could take inside and visited the ladies room again. I decided to sit someplace else for the second half of the performance and found a nice place that was to the immediate right of the orchestra. At Davies there are seats that form a “U” around the orchestra and which provide a great view of the performs. They are the cheapest seats in the place (normally only $25). I had seem some were not taken and so I slipped into one of them.

After the performance started it occured to me that I was sitting in such a way that virtually everyone in the hall had a clear view of me!! I had a moment of panic but at that point it was not like I could get up and move. I consoled myself that everyone would probably be looking at the orchestra and hence I would just blend in with dozens of other faces. So much for keeping a low profile…

The performance itself was Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony. I am an absolute fan of him and love the emotion and passion of his work. I always feel like I am on an emotional rollar coaster when I listen to his works. The 3rd and 5th Symphonies are among my favorite pieces. I discovered the 5th years ago by mistake. I thought I was attending Bethoveen’s 5th but I had misread the date and got Techaikovsky 5th instead. It was a wonderful surprise.

The performance this time was like meeting a wonderful old friend. I knew what to expect and still loved it. Where I was sitting I could see what instruments played which parts and that added a whole additional level of enjoyment. When I hear recordings of it now I can visual the trumpets, french horns, violins, drums, and other instruments and where they are located. It is not longer just music but is almost a 3D experience.

The performance soon ended and I walked back to my car and drove out of the City. The traffic was a mess but I was happy. I finished the day with a quick dinner with my BFF at a local India restaurant. The day had gone mostly as I had expected. I had done some shopping and found some nice things and then went to the symphony and heard some of my favorite music. All had taken place without incident and I was treated well by all I encountered. Even the unexpected work meeting had its own pleasant twist. How often do I get to attend work meetings “en femme”?


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