Symphony under the stars

I just got back from the Happy Valley Racecourse after attending the annual "Symphony under the Stars" concert.

The cool and crisp weather, the nice sandwich and the good music, combined to make this a near perfect evening.

Except one small thing. The audience. Many of them didn't seem to be coming for the music. There were children running around and people chatting noisily (the word "dinning", which I talked about in the blog a couple of days ago, applies well here) when the performance was going on. The etiquette of respecting the performers and the other attendants by remaining silent did not seem to apply here. I kept reminding myself that the event might have been considered by many who came as an occasion for family gathering rather than a formal concert and so a relatively lax standard might be more appropriate, but I had to hush the group of people sitting in front of me when the second movement of Chopin's piano concerto no.2 was played as the music was completely drowned by the noise they produced.

The only moment of the evening that captured the attention of everyone was when fireworks lit the evening sky as the orchestra played the thundering cannon shots of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture. Everyone took out their cameras and madly clicked away.

For a brief moment, I thought I had come to a circus.

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