The first part of the evening was not a traditional symphony, instead they had a guest performer, Gao Hong, playing a pipa, with the symphony as accompaniment. I'm not used to the music of a pipa, so it took me a minute or two to learn to appreciate its music. But as soon as I got used to it's sound, I really enjoyed the music.
But my favorite part of the evening was later on when the Rochester Symphony Orchestra played Scheherazade. That was when I fell in love. It is amazing how, when you know the story line, you can tell who is "speaking" and what emotions they are protraying and what is happening in the story. I could imagine the sea crashing against the ship and then I could hear Scheherazade starting to tell her story, then the Sultan being gruff with her. Next I could hear that the hero had entered the story, then the love song between the prince and the princess (my very favorite part). I loved it how I could tell what parts of the music were the story and which parts were when it had stepped back to the storyteller and listener. By the time the symphony ended, I had taken eight pages of notes.
I left the symphony with three desires: the money to go see the Russian performance later this month...then the Mozart...and so on; the time to read the story of Scheherazade; and the ability to compose in such a brilliant, emotion protraying, beautiful way.