Approaching the dramatic and grand architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, symphony-goers of all ages seemed to be just as enthusiastic as I was. Having never been to a legitimate symphony before, I had no expectations and no idea what to expect. As I took my seat with my father and brother, the hush of the crowd as the composer came out from the double doors sent goosebumps up my spine.
The orchestra opened with a piece by Ravel entitled “Rapsodie Espagnole.” Being one of the pioneers of music in the 20th century like that of Debussy, in the later years of his life, Ravel took inspiration from exotic places like that of Spain. Ravel’s extraordinary ability to create seemingly authentic Spanish music drew my admiration — it was almost as if the movements in the piece were small miracles of exquisite color, in a way expressing a short impressionistic tone poem.
Another noteworthy number was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas. Being quite the Disney-ophile, hearing a piece from a movie as iconic as “Fantasia” performed by a live orchestra was nothing short of fantastic. Nonetheless, the composition’s musical storytelling is remarkably graphic, sans Mickey Mouse. The piece is a remarkable example of the marriage of literature and music that came about during the nineteenth century.
My first night at the symphony was an absolute dream. Though playing a musical instrument was never my forté, the fortés my ears absorbed at the Philharmonic were unforgettable.