Hundreds of fans waited in anticipation, chanting "Flog-ging Mol-ly!" to reel the band onto the stage, their howls elevating at the lowering of the lights until the band appeared and answered with a surge of hammering Irish rock.
"Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful." So runs Sammy Cahn's lyric for the 1945 holiday favorite "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" Substitute "music" for "fire" and you have a good summary of this weekend's symphony concerts.
Unless you've been holed up on the dark side of the moon lately, you've probably noticed that 2014 is the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis. As a glance at the STL250 web site clearly shows, local celebrations of the event are popping up all over. This weekend the St. Louis Symphony is doing its part with a program that includes works composed between 1763 and 1792, including a Haydn symphony that's almost exactly the same age as our fair city.
This past year, my concert schedule started with a frantic pace, but then unfortunately dwindled away a bit due to increasing limitations on time and finances.
Writing in the Larousse Encyclopedia of Music, Donald Paine notes that Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," written for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962, "may stand as representative of his genius and of the theme that recurs throughout his work: the indictment of human folly as it shows itself both in the tragedy and wastage of war and in the corruption of human innocence."
Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes nailed it early in the evening: "Small venue. Sold out. One hundred degrees. No better place to be."