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September 27th, 2009

the sixth symphony

At first I thought she had been assigned to play the rhythm sticks, until I saw that she held not a stick, but a tiny piccolo. Through the initial movements, she sat mute, while triangles trinangulated, viola gamboled, and bassoon emitted their charming swoon. I wondered for a moment if she were a probationer, or worse yet, somehow who was being made an example. Then, in the final movement of Mahler's sixth symphony, she began to play her high-pitched notes, adding a chipper, high-pitched sturm to the drang. The celesta celested, the clarinets clarified, and she was part of the action. She, along with the rest of Southern Methodist University's Meadows Symphony Orchestra, handled this symphony with focus and aplomb. In addition, the hall admitted a large group of us for free, perhaps with returned tickets from subscribers. The concert was grand--people can either love Mahler or not love Mahler, but I find Mahler enjoyable. The Sixth, which I had not heard live before, has some lyrically beautiful passages and some forceful passages. The orchestra did a great job with each. I loved the percussionists best of all.

Then I went to Renner Road in Richardson, where they finally re-opened the nature trail after some renovation. I saw skipper butterflies and tiny asters in bloom. I saw Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, mockingbird, and this scissortail flycatcher:

Scissortail flycatcher


I listened to Cagey House, Him and the Drinks, Lisa DeBenedictis, Crisopa, and Ion on my mp3 player, and to
Deepspace on my CD player.

My wife and I settled in to watch the new Ken Burns PBS special about the national parks.

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