X and I celebrated our anniversary in style. We checked off one of the city’s landmarks from our must-see list by heading to Carnegie Hall. In our typical fashion, we arrived just in time, scooting into our seats just before the conductor took the stage.
The Cleveland Orchestra was not what I had in mind when I went looking for tickets to the symphony – no offense to Tristan, but Cleveland is not the first city that comes to mind in that department. But I give respect where it’s due; they put on a very strong performance. The first piece was a Mozart symphony (No. 25 in G minor), which was nice, but the second piece, Debussy’s Nocturnes, was outstanding. It brought together all the elements of a beautiful symphonic piece, the grand crescendos, the deafening silence, and all the unique sounds that you don’t get from pop music. There was one point where I was scanning the stage to find the soloing oboist.
Unfortunately the last piece was a real downer, Janácek’s Slavonic Mass. Talk about a snoozer. I couldn’t dig the melody, couldn’t even find the rhythm. I ended up dozing off in the middle of it, a trick I must have picked up from my dad, who in the old days could be counted on to fall asleep before the end of the overture when we used to go see the Nutcracker.
I managed to rouse myself towards the end of the Sanctus and we watched the conductor and the four soloists take several more curtain calls than I thought necessary. We lingered while people filed out and then walked down to the edge of the level we were sitting on, the Dress Circle, and had a look around. Carnegie Hall is truly a majestic theater, a testament to the ages. As we stood there taking it in, nearly alone in its hallowed warmth, it struck me that that is exactly what I want this marriage, this love, to be.