Friday, May 15, 2009

Russian Music and Lunch by the Harbour

Now that I have gone back to work 2 days per week, I will find it hard to read let alone post blogs. I have spent several hours this morning trying to catch up. I worked Tuesday/Wednesday this week. In future it will be Wednesday/Thursday but yesterday was my sister's birthday and by good fortune we had one of our symphony concerts on the same day so I took her out to lunch first.

We lunched at an outdoor restaurant at Circular Quay just near the Opera House. (just left of centre in photo)
It was a typical sunny Sydney day as winter approaches although a bit windy (It was blowing a gale up at home in the Mountains) but the wind was not cold, just had to hang on to our napkins.

The symphony concert was conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy who is now Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor. It was titled Russian Tribute. The first half was Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 played by Sasha Rozhdestvensky. I am not a fan of Shostakovich but although the first movement (nocturne) was slow, the Scherzo was better but then I found the Passacaglia excruciating while the Burlesque was very good. However Rozhdestevesky played excellently, it is just Shostakovich I find a bit hard.

The second half was Mussorgsky 'Pictures at an Exhibition'. I know this well though have never heard it live before but the usual version played is the orchestral arrangement by Ravel. This was to be Ashkenazy's own arrangement and suppose to be truer to its Russian origin. It was the premiere in Australia. I was a little nervous but need not have been as it was excellent, in fact I was close to tears by the end, it was such a marvellous performance. So my sister and I had a very pleasant day for her birthday (75). Her husband was at home recovering from his hernia op which apparently went well although he is very sore.

I have 5 more weeks of this work. I was very tired both days, mainly from standing for so long. I need to leave home just after 7am to be at school by 8.15 then leave about 3.15 and home (if I do not stop for shopping ) about 4.30. Difficult after 18 months without any work. The last time I worked was to pay for my flight to Europe but this time, I have stopped my superannuation payments for the period so there will no immediate increase in my income. Hope I live long enough to realise the benefit of preserving them.

2 comments:

motheramelia said...

I'm nostalgic. I've had the good fortune of seeing an opera at the opera house. Sydney is a lovely place and the harbor is special. Thank you for visiting my blog and now that I know where you are I will visit.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Brian, I hope that you live long enough, to benefit from your planning.

The picture is gorgeous. I think that I will never listen to music at the opera house, much to my disappointment.