Monday, June 18, 2007

Terra Memoria

As I indicated below, R & I went to Carnegie Hall for the finale of a series of concerts by the Emerson String Quartet performing Beethoven. Throughout the series they've interspersed other pieces, pieces that somehow complement or are connected to, or can be traced back to Beethoven's work.

Tonight was the world premier of a modern piece, by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, entitled "Terra Memoria." This is what she wrote in the program about the inspiration behind the piece:
The piece is dedicated "for those departed." Some thoughts about this: we continue remembering the people who are no longer with us; the material -- their life -- is "complete." Nothing will be added to it. Those of us who are left behind are constantly reminded of our experiences together: our feelings continue to change about different aspects of their personality, certain memories keep on haunting us in our dreams. Even after many years, some of these memories change, some remain clear flashes which we can relive.
I got goosebumps reading that. Quite appropriate. Providential even.

The music itself was stunning and breathtaking. The Beethoven at any rate: F Major Op. 135, C-sharp Minor Op. 131. The Finnish piece ... well, it had it's moments. I'm not a huge fan of atonal modern stuff. We remarked how my dad would probably have hated it, while R's dad would have reveled in it. Anyway, what a stupendous performance! For an encore they performed the alternative finale to Op. 130, the last work written by the composer.

After the show we got a bottle of wine, some tomatoes and fresh mozarella (for a light caprese) and toasted the much missed fathers.

Terra Memoria. Earth Memory.

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