Saturday night Tim and I had the opportunity to attend our very first symphony. Now, I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love classical music for so many reasons. It’s great to listen to while I write, it’s calming, it’s beautiful to dance ballet to and most of all, it fills me with a sense of nostalgia the likes of which I rarely encounter elsewhere.
So when we were given the opportunity to attend see the Ely Sinfonia at the great Ely Cathedral, we jumped at the chance. We bought the last two tickets for the front row on the side of the orchestra.
Walking into the cathedral is something breathtaking in and of itself. The centuries old Anglican cathedral is massive and intricate and absolutely dominates the landscape of the village. It’s stunning architecture and ceiling frescoes are something to behold and I’ve definitely had worse views in a concert.
As we settled into our seats I was pleased to see we were directly behind the double basses and cellos, some of my favorite instruments to listen to. And even better, I had a clear view of the conductor. As I mentioned before, I’m the daughter of a music teacher and conductor and I grew up surrounded by musical instruments. Doesn’t everyone have a piano in their living room?
All rustles and chatter ceased and he audience sat nearly motionless as first strains of Mozart’s Symphony No 29 began. I was immediately surrounded with a wonderful sense of calm. As I watched the conductor guide his musicians with his arms and hands, so many memories came flooding back. Things I hadn’t thought of in years, like sitting on the conductor’s stool and delicately balancing my dad’s baton on my pointer finger; waving said baton and pretending I was conducting my own orchestra; camping beneath the piano with my stuffed animals watching the musicians rehearse; finding the sheet music for Phantom of the Opera and becoming enthralled. It’s not often I realize how those daily moments shaped who I became today, an artist, a dancer and a lover of theater.
As the conductor turned toward the cellos on an intricate part of the symphony, a grin spread on his face as they gave their powerful performance. Smiles like that are contagious and I sat there grinning through the rest of the movement. Surrounded by history, beautiful music, and the warmth of childhood memories, in that moment, I was infinitely happy.