*this post began November 10, 2006, spent a few weeks moping around my drafts box, when it finally decided to make a rather lackluster entrance on the 27th of November after a very relaxing Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
I attended a classical music concert the other night. This may surprise you because if you've been reading my blog it may seem like I wouldn't be able to appreciate anything of cultural value or significance. This is not entirely true. It is also not true that I went for the free wine. While it is true that I very much enjoy classical music, I also have to agree with the restless children sitting in front of me that it's tough to discern how much time is left in the concert. We all have places to go and television shows to watch. And sometimes you just want to know what you are listening to. If you're not schooled in classical musical terminology, words like "addagio" and "andante" may mean nothing to you. A program is great, but if it's written in Portuguese, you're less likely to refer to it for answers. That is unless you are in fact Portuguese, in which case, you will be relieved and pleasantly surprised that it is in your native language. So to help those of you that don't have even a basic understanding of musical terms, except for the fact that they appear to be in Italian, or Latin, or possibly Greek, I will provide some useful definitions to help you in your hour(s) of need.
Adagio: Slow-moving, restful. You will be overcome by feelings of serenity (possibly the wine). Note the interesting facial expressions the pianist makes as he plays, how it looks like the piano speaks to him, and he is communicating back. What are they talking about? Movies? Fast food? The validity and existence of global warming?
Allegro: Not an anti-histamine. This portion of the concert is played lively and fast. Children will become excited by this fast-paced section of music and will kick the back of your chair progressively harder as the piece goes on. You will say a silent prayer thanking the heavens you do not have children of your own.
Affettati: A selection of sliced meats, often used in popular panini sandwiches.
Intermission: (By now, you are familiar with this one. For starters, it's in English. But I will provide a brief reminder of what you can expect at a classical music intermission.) You will sit quietly in your folding chair wondering where all the attractive people are. Everyone around you will get up to mingle and refill their refreshments. You will sit awkwardly for the duration because you realize you don't actually know anyone. Intermission will seem unnecessarily long. You will consider refilling your tiny plastic cup of wine (which appears to have been designed for a small child, but you know this is not a logical assumption), but will think twice when you realize a) you are too lazy and b) you definitely already drank too much at dinner. Also, congratulations! You made it half-way!
Allegretto: Fairly lively and fast. Similar to the "allegro" part of the concert, with the addition of the word "fairly." Musical accompaniment will be provided by the cell phone of a man in row 3, who has thoughtfully left his ringer on during the performance. You will note the conflicting yet strangely haunting combination of Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" played alongside Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Major.