Sunday, February 02, 2003

It's funny how even in today's hectic world you can still shut everything out for a day. On Saturday we kept the TV and radio off and just did odd jobs around the house while listening to CDs. I washed both cars and waxed my truck and remember thinking it was a little odd that my next door neighbor had decided to put his American flag out. Why on Feb. 1? But then I did not give it any more thought. That night we went to the symphony and the first inkling that something was up came after the intermission when the conducter said that a selection by Bach - Air from Suite No. 3 in D Major - was being dedicated to the crew of the Spaceshuttle Columbia. I thought that was odd, but maybe they knew somebody on the flight or had some other connection. It wasn't until the next morning when I picked up the Sunday papers that I finally learned of the terrible tragedy.
It wasn't like that 17 years ago when the Spaceshuttle Challenger blew up. At that time I was a junior in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M with a TV in my dorm room (a junior privilege). I remember just standing in my room with some of my buddies staring at the TV and watching the shuttle blow up again and again. It is disconcerting reading the names of the Challenger crew again - they had all become so familiar back then. Now we have seven new names to learn. I still have not turned on the TV. I know I will see it all soon enough.

The San Antonio Symphony was a nice treat. First we heard the full orchestra play Brahms Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, Op. 56a. It was very good, but not very familiar and there were a few slow movements where I almost nodded off. But afterward they introduced a young trumpet prodigy (age 24) from Russia named Sergei Nakariakov and he accompanied the orchestra on Hummel's Concerto in E-flat major for trumpet and orchestra, the Bach piece and Arban's Variations on The Carnival of Venice. I have to say, I have been listening to a lot of jazz trumpet lately so I was not sure what I would think of the classical variety, but the kid really had his chops (as the hipsters in the jazz clubs would say). They made a point of having him be the only trumpet playing during the pieces just so you knew that all of those notes were coming out of just one horn. It was a bit like listening to an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo.
The orchestra finished the set with Haydn's Symphony No. 104 in D major "London".

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