CSO: Mahler 7

I tried something new last week, having a little contest to find a +1 for Mahler's 7th at the CSO. And, if success is measured by finding someone, it worked.  I only had a couple entries, but in the end, there was a symphony-virgin sitting next to me, eyes and ears aglow with anticipation.

Here's how it went.

I sent out tweets, facebook messages, and a message to the couchsurfing group in Chicago and mustered up 2 comments-as-entries.  The second guy couldn't go but just wanted to write a haiku (which got my wheels aturning...), so I emailed the one and only official entrant...

...who called me Sunday morning and cancelled, feeling under the weather.
So I contacted another person who responded from couchsurfing, a guy who had never been to the symphony before.  Perfect.
But, he didn't quite know what he was getting himself into, not knowing Pierre Boulez(!) or Mahler.  Mahler is a bit much for a newb.

Here's his response:

  • "with the huge array of performers with their different instruments, I found myself drifting a bit trying to match the particular sound with the instrument."
  • "The diversity of instruments really was quite amazing"
  • "For my next show all probably go with a performance with a more simplistic elegance to it... maybe a Motzart or Beethoven
Overall, for a first-timer, he did very well.  I sometimes take for granted what a skill it is to sit still, hardly moving, for 75 minutes.  It's something like meditation, only getting better with practice.  Before the concert, I told him: like meditation, you're mind may wander, which is ok; when you notice it just try to bring it back.  Over time, the percentage of time we pay attention should gradually increase: progress, rather than perfection.

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