Bill Goes To The Symphony

Apparently, Judy has decided that she wants to prove to somebody that she can take me somewhere, so we met in Fresno last night to attend a concert of all of Beethoven’s piano concertos. (Actually, it was just a few of them as it was the first of three evenings in a row during which time the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, along with guest concert piano player Antonio Pompa-Baldi, will plow through the whole collection.)

All in all, it was an evening filled with beautiful, dramatic music, highlighted by amazing performances by Pompa-Baldi.

Honestly, the guy is amazing. I am convinced that his fingers are at least 12 inches long. I have never seen fingers like that on any other human being. I’m pretty sure he can cover the distance of three octaves on the keyboard between the pinky and thumb on one hand.

Additionally, I was seriously trying to count them (his fingers) during times when he was at rest, waiting for the the orchestra to get to the point where he would come back into the mix. I really thought he had 6 fingers on each hand. In fact, I wanted to stay after the concert to meet him just to count his fingers, but that was not to be.

And there were parts where he played entire parts with his right hand while is left was resting on his thigh! Like I said – amazing.

If you have never experienced a concert like this, I highly recommend  it to anyone who needs a little culture added to his or her life. 

However, if you do decide to expose yourself to this, I would caution you to pay attention to some of the finer points of proper audience etiquette, as well as give you some important knowledge of symphonic nomenclature. 

The top things I learned at the symphony concert last night:

10. No matter how many fiddles are in the orchestra, they will never, at any point during the performance, play Turkey In The Straw. No matter how hard you beg.

9. They are not ‘fiddles’. They are ‘violins’. 

8. Some of them are not ‘violins’, they are violas’.

7. Violin players show their appreciation by waiving their wands in the air in unison.

6. They are not ‘wands’, they are ‘bows’. 

5. Just because the music stops, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to aplod  aplawed  aplaude  clap.

4. If the musicians get up and leave the stage, it may not really be time to go home. 

3. Nobody will notice that you have fallen asleep if you nod off in time with the music.

2.  Contortions, spasms and other deformations exhibited on the featured piano player’s face and/or body do not necessarily indicate an epileptic seizure.

1.  There is no such thing as a ‘concert piano player’.



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