Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Felix Mendelssohn's celebration

Last Thursday, the four of us went with some other members of the home school group to Hilbert Circle Theater on Monument Circle to see the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra perform Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 5 in D Major/D Minor, op. 107. We had wonderful seats, the theater is lovely, the audience appreciative and the orchestra finely tuned and fascinating to watch, but we had an unexpected surprise that made us giggle in the lobby afterwards.

It turns out that Symphony No. 5 in D Major/D Minor, op. 107 is more widely known as the Reformation Symphony. Mendelssohn wrote it in 1832 in celebration of the 300th anniversary of Martin Luther's Augsberg Confession. This was explained to us before the concert began and I thought, "Oh, sheesh. Of ALL the concerts the group could attend this year, this one WOULD be the one I signed everyone up for."

Because, the Reformation? Not so much a cause for celebration. More like a monumental tragedy that fractured the Body of Christ and has resulted in division upon division upon division, four and a half centuries' worth by now. I wonder if he had it all to write over again -- and by "he" I'm referring both to Martin Luther and Mendelssohn, I suppose, Luther with his confession and Mendelssohn with his symphony -- if it would all seem worth it.

For the first time, symphonic music was kind of lost on me.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

Okay, now you do know about Wagner, right? We won't have to be giving you smelling salts when Wagner is on the playlist??