Saturday, October 31, 2009

"When witches were waltzing...."

Actually they would have been doing a jig or an Irish reel! *LOL* Happy Halloween everyone!! We spent tonight enjoying the Enid Symphony Orchestra. Sound odd, perhaps? Not really, since the program was "A Celtic Halloween" featuring Mithril! Yep, my favorite Celtic group arranged a Halloween program and our 'on-the-spot' maestro, Mr. Doug Newell, snapped up the chance for their first ever performance of the program!

The evening began with our own ESO performing Mussorgsky's "A Night On Bald Mountain" - they did a fantastic job with this piece. In my mind I coul see the animations from Disney's "Fantasia" as the music played! Next was the ESO performing Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre, Poeme Symphonique, op. 40". A young local violinist, Sarah Youn, was the soloist for this piece. This young lady is amazing! She is a freshman at Enid High and, at her young age, has aleady been the Concert Master (the leader of the first violins of an orchestra and by custom usually the assistant to the conductor) for the Honor Orchestra at the Tri-State Music Festival for the past two years AND has been the Concert Master for the All Oklahoma Youth Orchestra. The math is right there - she was a lead violinist while attending the 7th grade! I can't wait to hear this young lady in a few years - I'll be very surprised if she hasn't garnered national attention by then.

And then Mithril began their program. Oh - I just can't say enough about this group, and I'm so very glad that Doug has had them back two years in a row. They began their program with the rollicking "Halloween Jig" and "Lilting Banshee". Next came a set of "The Ghost", "The Banshee's Wail Over the Mangle Pit", and "Banshee Reel". Next was "The Women's Lament for the Dead (Inishere)" - a beautiful, flowing song that made me see pictures of the hills and coasts of Ireland. Next was "Merrily Kiss the Quaker's Wife", "A Fig for a Kiss", and "The Choice Wife" - the guitar player was so intense on these that he broke a string clean off his guitar. *LOL* Then they took us to the Shire with songs from "The Lord of the Rings": "Concerning Hobbits", "In Dreams", and "Bilbo's Birthday". Then came their 'international' portion, as they called it: "The Celtic Silk Road", "The Camels' Hump", and "Purgatory Chasm" - these songs had a very Middle Eastern sound to them. And they closed with a set they called "The Devil's Box". Apparently, and I did not know this, the fiddle was known as the Devil's Box - way back when, everyone was expected to be sober and pious but whenever there was a fiddle playing, people danced and sang and were said to be ensnared by the "Devil's Box". This set was a jumble of pieces of tunes including "The Devil Went Down To Georgia", "The Devil in the Kitchen", "The Devil's Dream", and "Howling Wind". It was a rousing end to a wonderful concert.

Honestly, if you ever get a chance to see Mithril, or even just to listen to them - take it! They are four wonderfully talented musicians who LOVE Celtic music and it shows! Oh, and all of the pieces they performed tonight - every one of them was orchestrated by their flute player, Andra Bohnet. She has a way of making the accompanying orchestra a big part of the music, yet they never overshadow the performers of Mithril - the orchestrations are seamless!

It was a fabulous evening all the way 'round. Now don't be too scared of the ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night! *G* I just love Halloween!

1 comment:

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Sounds like your Halloween was hauntingly beautiful. I have seen Mithril on YouTube and I think they're wonderful too. Going to have to see if they've added anything since last time.

Happy Halloween! xxoo