Day 10: People Watching at Panera, In B Flat

Haydn010Because I arose later than usual today, I couldn’t get my usual table (which, actually, is a booth) at my usual morning hangout, Panera Bread.

The table at which I sit this morning, munching on an Asiago bagel (toasted with light cream cheese) and sipping a Light Roast coffee (colored with Half & Half to a just-so golden-brown color) is a round table that faces into the restaurant in such a way that allows me to watch people talking to one another. I can’t hear them (Duh! I’m listening to Haydn). But I can see them. (Admittedly, I am in control of which way the table faces. The photo below indicates I could just as easily have sat in the other chair, facing the window. But I chose to sit with my back to the window so that I cPaneraOct10ould see into the restaurant.)

I’ve forgotten how much fun that is – watching people while listening to music, so that it’s like I’m scoring a private movie in my head. Their actions take on more dramatic, or even comedic, meaning when I replace the “score” of ambient sounds one typically finds in a restaurant in the morning with music of my own choosing.

I feel like I should join ASCAP or something.

In this particular Panera, the talk is often about the Bible. Before I stuck earbuds in my, well, ears and replaced people’s voices with Haydn’s, I heard “…we’ll have to read the scriptures for references to leadership” and “let’s pray about that.” Also, I see Bibles on table tops, as well as books by Christian authors.

I also, pre buds in ears, heard job interviews being conducted here and there.

Welcome to West Michigan, where jobs and Bibles often go hand in hand.

Another thing I noticed: Continue reading

Day 1: Getting Into Haydn’s Head

Haydn1The first stop on my three-year journey into madness…erm, creativity…is the Haydn Edition, a budget-conscious, but high-quality set of complete recordings by Brilliant Classics.

The Brilliant Classics Haydn Edition begins with Symphonies, specifically Symphony #1, which is apropos considering Haydn (1732-1809) was considered “the Father of Symphonies” because of his contribution to the form.

CD 1 features Symphony No. 1 in D through Symphony No. 5 in A, all performed  by the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer (1949- ) conductor. The recording quality is superb, very bright and clear. The brass instruments are not overly loud or obnoxious. The stringed instruments are perfectly balanced with the brass.

One of the many distinctions of the Austro-Hungarian Orchestra is that it plays and records in Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt. According to their web site:

Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra was founded in 1987 by Adam Fischer in order to perform Haydn’s work in the place where he lived and worked, and bring together some of the finest musicians from Austria and Hungary…The Haydnsaal (“saal” means hall in German) is in the Eszterházy Palace at Eisenstadt, Austria. It was build in mid 17th century and is the very important hall in a music history since. As its name shows, the composer Jozef Haydn had worked more than 30 years and many of his pieces were first played…There are three beautiful frescos on the ceiling. This hall does not have any air conditoning system to protect the frescos. So, there is no concert in winter. The capacity of this hall is 600 and the acoustics is marvelous…

This recording lives up to the billing. It is Continue reading