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Food security at Rady Shell holds back fans

Second movement of Kabalevsky was spectacular

There was a lengthy discussion about a sandwich that a grandmother was trying to bring in.
There was a lengthy discussion about a sandwich that a grandmother was trying to bring in.

There are several factors in a successful concert experience. There’s the music being performed, the performance of said music, whether or not one attends the concert alone or with a companion, whether or not said companion is a benefit, the venue, where one is sitting in said venue, those sitting nearby, the intermission, whether or not one gets a refreshment during said intermission, and, nowadays, there’s the security check.

I’m going to address those items in reverse order regarding the Friday, July 15, concert at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The security check was ridiculous. The lines were so long that many didn’t make it to their seats before the concert started and Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer gave a lengthy pre-concert talk that included updates on the impressive Symphony Hall renovations.

It became clear to me that the security check wasn’t so much about security as it was about busting people for bringing outside food or beverages into the Shell. This is a no-no. In my line, there was a lengthy discussion about a sandwich that a grandmother was trying to bring in for her young grandchild. A security supervisor was brought in to render a decision. I racked my brain to find a security risk in this scenario and all I could come up with was the possibility that the sandwich was tuna salad and had gone bad. The security was a disappointment. We weren’t off to a good start.

I had a gin and tonic at intermission along with a fairly-sourced carnitas burrito.

Video:

Kabalevsky, Cello Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 49: II.

Largo, molto espressivo · Eugene Ormandy

Largo, molto espressivo · Eugene Ormandy

The seating at the Shell is great no matter where one is. The people nearby tend to be more chatty than in the concert hall. On this night, a little doggie stole the show by repeatedly warning those nearby to back off. This was amusing the first 14 times it happened. The dog was sitting at the park benches which are technically outside the venue and therefore need not bend the knee to the Shell’s policies. It’s possible that homemade sandwiches may have been consumed there.

I had a companion for this concert, and he was a benefit. He was the one who ate the burrito at intermission.

The performance of the music was fair to good to excellent. Maestro Edo de Waart conducted the concert. The opening piece was Beethoven’s dramatic Coriolan Overture. This was a fair performance that lacked an overall sense of momentum.

The second piece was a cello concerto by Dimitri Kabalevsky. Kabalevsky is one of a bevy of Soviet composers that rarely see the light of day in Western concert halls. The second movement was spectacular. Brooding strings set the tone and the cello enters in a minor key. Near the conclusion of the movement, Kabalevsky employs a Picardy Third, going from minor to major. Never, ever, underestimate the value and effectiveness of a well-deployed Picardy Third.

The final piece was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The performance was good. I found the final movement, Allegro con Presto, to be more like Allegro sans Presto but the performance concluded with a satisfying flourish.

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There was a lengthy discussion about a sandwich that a grandmother was trying to bring in.
There was a lengthy discussion about a sandwich that a grandmother was trying to bring in.

There are several factors in a successful concert experience. There’s the music being performed, the performance of said music, whether or not one attends the concert alone or with a companion, whether or not said companion is a benefit, the venue, where one is sitting in said venue, those sitting nearby, the intermission, whether or not one gets a refreshment during said intermission, and, nowadays, there’s the security check.

I’m going to address those items in reverse order regarding the Friday, July 15, concert at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The security check was ridiculous. The lines were so long that many didn’t make it to their seats before the concert started and Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer gave a lengthy pre-concert talk that included updates on the impressive Symphony Hall renovations.

It became clear to me that the security check wasn’t so much about security as it was about busting people for bringing outside food or beverages into the Shell. This is a no-no. In my line, there was a lengthy discussion about a sandwich that a grandmother was trying to bring in for her young grandchild. A security supervisor was brought in to render a decision. I racked my brain to find a security risk in this scenario and all I could come up with was the possibility that the sandwich was tuna salad and had gone bad. The security was a disappointment. We weren’t off to a good start.

I had a gin and tonic at intermission along with a fairly-sourced carnitas burrito.

Video:

Kabalevsky, Cello Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 49: II.

Largo, molto espressivo · Eugene Ormandy

Largo, molto espressivo · Eugene Ormandy

The seating at the Shell is great no matter where one is. The people nearby tend to be more chatty than in the concert hall. On this night, a little doggie stole the show by repeatedly warning those nearby to back off. This was amusing the first 14 times it happened. The dog was sitting at the park benches which are technically outside the venue and therefore need not bend the knee to the Shell’s policies. It’s possible that homemade sandwiches may have been consumed there.

I had a companion for this concert, and he was a benefit. He was the one who ate the burrito at intermission.

The performance of the music was fair to good to excellent. Maestro Edo de Waart conducted the concert. The opening piece was Beethoven’s dramatic Coriolan Overture. This was a fair performance that lacked an overall sense of momentum.

The second piece was a cello concerto by Dimitri Kabalevsky. Kabalevsky is one of a bevy of Soviet composers that rarely see the light of day in Western concert halls. The second movement was spectacular. Brooding strings set the tone and the cello enters in a minor key. Near the conclusion of the movement, Kabalevsky employs a Picardy Third, going from minor to major. Never, ever, underestimate the value and effectiveness of a well-deployed Picardy Third.

The final piece was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The performance was good. I found the final movement, Allegro con Presto, to be more like Allegro sans Presto but the performance concluded with a satisfying flourish.

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Comments
2

I will agree. The security line left us agreeing that we're not coming back this season. Fine... you want us to go through a metal detector... I understand. But this isn't a weapons lab - it's a bandshell.

July 25, 2022
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Aug. 3, 2022

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