. . . before the wedding, I mean! FryDaddy and I hadn't had a "big date night" in quite a while - our lives have been crazy-busy and not just with the wedding plans. (Scale back all you want to, Gentle Readers, you still have a long list of errands to run and goals to accomplish. This is a fact you'll be much happier off accepting early in the process.) In the past, we tried to have a "big" date night every couple of months. These ranged from our trip to the opera (with our funny plastic Viking helmets) to my exposure to Metallica. But lately, there just hasn't been the time or the energy. You see, living in the pleasant boondocks means that most "big date nights" involve a fair amount of planning; such events really can't be totally spontaneous.
But there was a glimmer of light - the somewhat-local symphony was presenting a full-scale version of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. You know this piece if you've ever listened to the opening of Countdown with Keith Olbermann or heard the popular hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." (Although I'll admit I didn't know the bit about how the piece allegedly influenced the development of the compact disc. Read the article!) I got tickets as an early wedding present, we got dolled up and out we went.
The tickets were second row, which gives you a different point of view from being up in the balcony. We were close enough to see the gouges on the floor from the endpins of the double basses. And it's just a magnificent piece of music! It's so overwhelmingly joyous that you want to leap to your feet, pump your fist in the air, and yell from the depths of your soul, "YEAH!"
And that's without understanding the German chorus!
Seriously, a wonderful night and one well worth repeating. Until then, listen to this and remember that Beethoven was stone-deaf by the time his final symphony premiered in 1824. Or go watch Immortal Beloved - that's pretty cool, too!