Blog Master G

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Philadelphia Orchestra

Thursday, August 18th, 2005 · 1 Comment

We attended the Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance at SPAC last night to watch and listen with amazement as Van Cliburn performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. Sibelius’s Finlandia, Op.26 came before it, but it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the Rachmaninoff piece. I used to play the sax — even in my high school orchestra — but this, of course, was a whole different ball game last night. It’s incredible what these composers create in their heads and what some people are able to recreate with such beauty and emotion and no sheet music — just by feeling the music Cliburn could share the story and the emotion with thousands of us. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it turns out that we were witnessing not only a fantastic concerto but also a rare performance by “one of the greatest pianists in the history of music.” No wonder he got a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes.

Had we not been listening to beautiful music, we would have attended last night’s candle-light vigil downtown in support of Cindy Sheehan, the mother whose son died in Iraq and who’s camped outside the Bush compound in Crawford. Naturally, Bush refuses to speak with her. I was delighted to see the big story on the front page of our conservative local paper, and also that about 200 people attended — a solid turnout for our little town.

It seems too early to be true — especially following the dry, hot summer we’ve been having — but we’re beginning to see signs of fall: Leaves on the ground, chilly morning breeze, sniffly noses, a sweatshirt on my person.

One Happy Big-Box Wasteland / Oh my yes, there is indeed one force that is eating away the American soul like a cancer:

Do you want to feel like you might as well be in Tucson or Boise or Modesto or Wichita or Muncie and it no longer freakin’ matters, because we as a nation have lost all sense of community and place? Why, just pull over, baby. Take the next exit. Right here, this very one.

Ah, there it is, yet another massive big-box mega-strip mall, a giant beacon of glorious community decay, a wilted exclamation point of consumerism gone wild. This is America. You have arrived. You are home. Eat it and smile.


My thoughts exactly the last time I drove cross-country. And why I love Saratoga Springs and feel lucky to live here — because it’s not like the rest of America.

(Thanks, Dad, for the link.)

Tags: saratoga springs

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 suzanne // Aug 18, 2005 at 10:21 am

    “Big boxes in a strip mall, big boxes made of ticky tacky, big boxes, subdivisions and they all look the same…” with apologies to the original author of this song about suburban sprawl penned in the 1960’s