Symphony Sunset

The sunset this evening was incredible.

The sky was like a brilliant, huge painting, an amazing purple, red and yellow glow. The site greeted us as the el we were riding on emerged from beneath Chicago. We caught it right at its peak and it lasted ever so briefly.

No surprise, the camera phone doesn’t come close to capturing it. Looks more like a nuclear bomb has been dropped on the western suburbs.

I attended the final Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert in the Afterwork Masterworks series. Britten (Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes) and Brahms (Symphony No. 4). Peter Schickele spoke briefly before the Brahms piece. His comments were entertaining and insightful, adding to my appreciation of the symphony, but my favorite were the Britten pieces.

The more I hear Benjamin Britten’s work, the more I like it. It’s the cinematic quality to the music that hooks me. I saw the opera Peter Grimes a number of years ago at Lyric Opera, and was very struck by the music then. Hearing the orchestral excerpts from it tonight confirmed how much I like his music.

I’ve always been drawn to movie music. There are soundtracks that I’m still listening to years after seeing the movie, far after other albums have fallen out of rotation. Glory (James Horner), To Kill a Mockingbird (Elmer Bernstein), Rabbit Proof Fence (Peter Gabriel), Edward Scissorhands (Danny Elfman–one of many), Ragtime (Randy Newman), and just about anything by Ennio Morricone (but in particular Once Upon a Time in America and The Mission.) There are composers that conversely I’m drawn to because of the cinematic nature of their music–Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Benjamin Britten, Shostakovich, and Mahler come to mind.

I listen to music all the time–it’s an ever-present soundtrack.


One thought on “Symphony Sunset

  1. The very first record I ever owned was the soundtrack to Goldfinger. Still have it 35 years later. And many, many other soundtracks. Soundtracks are a beautiful thing.

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