25 October 2011

Carmina Burana: Take Three

So a few weeks ago, we attended the season opening night of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. I happened to get some tickets for it, so we decided to make it a night by getting dressed up, having dinner at a little fancy place, and attending the performance.

First, I should say that I always enjoy this piece: Carmina Burana is one of my most favorite symphonic pieces, and this is actually the third time I have seen it performed live. The first time was when I was in Prague, in 2006. The second time was in Artpark, when I saw it with a bunch of my friends. This is the third time, and so far, I think this is the performance I have enjoyed the most.

Most of the time, I usually enjoy the baritone part of the piece, but this time, the tenor made a great job, way better than the baritone in my opinion. I had this idea that the baritone had a little too much drama and not enough force. The tenor part for this piece in my opinion was a rather pathetic one; he only sings once, and the song sucks. It's about a swan burning. However, Nicholas Phan did a wonderful job. I was quite impressed.

Aside from Carmina Burana, they also played the Hary Janos Suite by Zoltan Kodaly. I haven't heard this piece before, and I was quite amazed at the orchestration. I was interested at the rare instruments that was featured, and the piece was overall quite amazing. Who else would decide to incorporate a sneeze in the music?

Anyway, I always wondered why the orchestra is always this formal affair. A lot of people were rather dressed up, and in order not to feel out of place, we decided to dress up too. I even wore a suit. There were people who were wearing shirts, but they definitely looked like they were out of place. I wonder why this is always the case with musical performances. Theatre isn't like that.

Oh well, I loved the evening. That was a wonderful weekend that I hadn't had in a while.

(Heavenly Staircase, from my Machu Picchu Series)


  1. I love Carmina Burana too! So powerful and moving. It's nice to dress up once in a while. :) Here, people are more dressed up for operas and ballets, especially premiers. It also depends on where you're seated. But for orchestra concerts and recitals, everything is less formal.

  2. Toe,

    I definitely agree. If you're sitting so close, in those premier seats, then surely you can afford to dress up. On the other hand, if the concert is held in an academic setting, say, in the concert hall of the university's music department, then one doesn't dress up as much.