camille_bacon_smith: (Default)
[personal profile] camille_bacon_smith
 The best part of living in the city is how many amazing things you can do really cheaply if you give it some time and some thought.  This weekend, I saw the Philadelphia Orchestra, with the Westminster Choir and the Philadelphia Boys Choir perform Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the Kimmel Center.  I stood in line for rush tickets--a last minute ticket for $10 got me a seat dead center in the orchestra section that normally costs $90.  

Rush tickets are the best!  On the night of a performance, music lovers on a budget line up to purchase any unsold or returned tickets.  At 5:30, all the windows in the box office open for rush.  The trick to rush tickets is to arrive early.  Verizon Hall at the Kimmel seats 2500 people, and there were just 60 unsold tickets available. I arrived at 5:00, half an hour early, and there was already a line.  So some nights you won't get in.  But many nights you will.

As for the War Requiem, it was fabulous.  Mostly I go to chamber music concerts--you can see chamber music pretty much every day of the week if you want, but I usually go once or twice a week.  I'd forgotten a bit how much I love REALLY BIG music!  And the War Requiem is really big.  The orchestra was huge--I counted 7 percussionists alone.  There were choirs and soloists and a harp and a bassoon front and center in dialogue with the soloists.  The big pipe organ was in play.  And yet, for all the moments of rising wall of sound that blew your socks off, there were quiet moments of reflection as well.  The choirs sang the mass, while the soloists sang the war poems of Wilfred Owen as a sort of commentary.  It was a performance not to be missed--well worth standing in line for!

On my way out I bumped into a couple of friends who were also there.  Looked for another friend, but there were thousands of people letting out at the same time, so I am surprised I saw anyone I knew.  A fun night, then a brisk walk home.  I have a lot coming up in April and May, but I hope to be able to do rush again soon.
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