The view of clouds coming out of my apartment Thursday evening on the way to a party.
A second trip to see Candide. I was very tired the first time I went and although I thought, and still think, the production was fabulous, I appreciated the second act more the second time around. The first time it just confounded me, but as I said I was tired. The first act remains my favorite, probably because it is closest to the actual work. The second half cherry-picks episodes and tells a completely different story than the last two-thirds of the book and although I appreciate the musical as entertainment, I think temperamentally, I much prefer Candide as Voltaire wrote it. I continue to be a person who does not want to be spoon-fed easy answers, even as entertainment. I also confirmed that I still don't love the score. I appreciate it more having seen the production, but it is not something I would sit and listen to. Again, this is me, and I am aware that my opinions are in opposition to the mainstream. I have no regrets, and am happy that I made the effort to see the production again because I was able to relax and let go of my annoyance with the score and enjoy the performance itself. This second viewing allowed me to concentrate more fully on the musicians themselves, the acting, the timing, the sets, all the things that made the performance magical.
New floor tiles for the front hall.
I went to a fund raiser for Ijams nature center last weekend. The event is usually outdoors on the lawn but due to the threat of rain it was held in a series of connected tents, which proved wise. I thought that the darkness in the tent and the lighting around the symphony was beautiful, as was the performance. I've been to many symphonic performances in tents and the sound is often awful. This was not. When I could hear, the sound carried quite clearly. Notice the word "when". I could not hear the music initially, and in fact the orchestra was well into the first piece before I could tell they were playing. It rapidly became clear however that the issue was not the fault of the organizers, but with the audience itself. Very few people in the second tent stopped talking throughout the first portion of the program, which focused on the classical repertoire: Rossini, Beethoven, Haydn, and Copeland. However, the instant that RB Morris began to sing all sound stopped. You could have heard a pin drop. Morris was excellent, and the sound of the orchestra in the final third of the concert, revolving mostly around popular show tunes, was beautifully done. Yes, I sat peacefully and calmly through the overture to Candide. Would that my fellow attendees had had the courtesy to do so during the initial portion of the program.
When I came home from my second performance of Candide, I picked up my (new) copy of the novel. My older copy fell apart earlier this month. I still have it in French as well, but my ability to read French has atrophied over the decades. Enraptured, I stayed up far too late reading. The excesses of Candide are indeed ludicrous, but there is humanity in the story, and a wisdom about human nature, suffering, and what is important in life that I felt was more of a gloss in the play.
And now I must go tend to my own garden.