Mrs. C and I have been subscribers to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for more than forty years. There was an evening open rehearsal (they are usually during the day) for subscribers on Thursday. They ask people to call if they are coming; when my wife did so she was told there would be a cash bar and "heavy hors d'oeuvres" [sic]. The staffer said that meant more than little finger food but not enough for dinner. A new term has been coined.
Our marvelous new music director, Stéphane Denève, is blowing out all the stops with the Beethoven 9th this weekend. Before the rehearsal started, he told us that the metronome was invented around the time of its composition by a friend and that L v B loved it. The work is full of these timing marks but few conductors follow them. Denève intended to do so and at times the result sounded quite odd, often a bit fast and a little stiff. But if the master says so... We will hear the final outcome at the performance tonight.
Above, a fuzzy low-light phone cam shot of our principal cello, Daniel Lee, starting to warm up.