Impressions of an Orchestra


September 23, 2010 by greenhouse04

This evening I turned on the TV to see what was on.  Channel 8 had a broadcast of some orchestra somewhere playing jazz music.  Instead of changing the channel, I decided to watch.

Half and hour later, I was thoroughly relaxed and entertained.  Here were a few of my impressions.

When I first heard that the orchestra was playing jazz, I thought, “this is a little strange.”  Classical music, yes, but the musicians seemd a little too stilted and controlled for jazz.  And at first it was a little strange.  But slowly I could see the musicians “getting into” it, bopping their heads, and even smiling!

They had a section that looked like special guest jazz artists (they were wearing a different kind of black tie).  Wow, they were good!  One man made it look simple to play runs and delicate staccato notes on his saxophone.  Another managed crooning melodies on his trombone.

The regular orchestra members were sometimes hilarious to see up-close.  One man’s eyebrows did amazing feats of flexibility in time with the equally amazing feats of his trumpet.  Another man made the oddest expressions of confusion and pain as he blew out notes on his tuba.  A flutist looked like a deer in headlights with her eyes wide and her eyebrows climbing into her hair.  I hope her brow isn’t permanently wrinkled by those furrows!

Most of the musicians looked like your normal, intelligent, driven, and cultured musician.  The pianist looked like he hadn’t seen sun in a while, but his white fingers were deft on the whiter keys.  The young cellist looked very young, and without much muscle tonage, but you don’t get into a profession orchestra by working out! 

The conducter (I’m sure very famous, but I don’t know his name), a tall, big man, had a nice fringe of straight, black hair, over a forehead that twinkled with sweat.  But he was one with the music.  I’ve taken a conducting class, and I know a genius conducter when I see one!

They were all one with the music.  They looked like individual leaves swaying to the same wind – swaying to the music that moved from them, around them, over them, and through them. 

Going to a concert in person is grand and marvelous, but I think watching one on TV is much more interesting.  You can see the individual people that make up the orchestra.  Some are funny, many serious, and all handle their instrument with control and precision.  And all of them together make music that transcends the individual, that binds them and their listener into an experience that is beyond words.  Thank you, Lord, for music!


One thought on “Impressions of an Orchestra

  1. greenhouse04 says:

    Btw, I found out more details about the orchestra. It was the New York Philharmonic, directed by Alan Gilbert, broadcast live from the Lincoln Center. It was the opening concert of this season.

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