Tone Poem Tuesday (actually a symphony, but it’s MY blog, and I say it counts)

So April is over and May is upon us! Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birth month is passed…but we’re not going to be turning away from him in my various online outlets, not at all. Stand by for more Rachmaninoff!

But for now, I have to post Tchaikovksy’s Symphony No. 5, because it’s a great work. Really great. How great? Well…apparently one woman at a recent Los Angeles Philharmonic performance of the Tchaikovsky Fifth found it…this great.

As a woman in her thirties, I know how difficult it can be to balance all that is expected of us: spending quality time with friends, self-care, keeping up with the news, a finger on the pulse of art and culture, a finger on our own pleasure points, etc. Well, over the weekend it seems one woman managed to have it all! During a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 5th at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, many concertgoers reported a woman having a “loud full body orgasm.” Multitasking at its finest, if you ask me.

“Everyone kind of turned to see what was happening,” Molly Grant told the Los Angeles Times. “I saw the girl after it had happened, and I assume that she … had an orgasm because she was heavily breathing, and her partner was smiling and looking at her — like in an effort to not shame her,” Grant said. “It was quite beautiful.”

Another concertgoer, Magnus Fiennes, tweeted that after the “loud and full body orgasm” the “band politely carried on.”

As soon as I read this story, my immediate thought was: I wonder what part of that symphony was, um, inspiring to this person? I came up with a few possibilities, either in the second or the fourth movements, and now that an audio clip of the event has surfaced online, I hear that I am right: she, er, arrived during the second movement, which is, after all, one of the most gorgeous slow movements in all of classical music.

Here is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by George Szell.

There is no sonic passion in this recording other than what Tchaikovsky wrote, with one exception: Szell adds a cymbal crash near the end.


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