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At a nice concert today - some observations

This afternoon we went to Jordan Hall - the lovely concert palace in Boston most of whose seats are slightly slanted to one side because of its architectural design - to see Emanuel Ax. Ax is one of the best concert pianists around. He played Beethoven's Sonatas 2 and 21 with Schumann's Humoreske and Papillons between the two,

In a break from the usual where classical music performers don't speak a word, he talked briefly about each Schumann before he played them. He was careful to explain that the humor in the Humoreske was not about being funny but about a wide range of moods.

The last Beethoven sonata, called the Waldstein, is quite an incredible piece - it seemed to me that the piece and the way he played it, particularly in the last movement sounded and felt like there was a whole symphony orchestra playing a symphony. Kudos to Ludvig van and to Mr Ax for this.

One sad observation is that there are very few young people in the audience - where in this case young means under 50! What will be the future of live classical concerts?

During the intermission where there was no half-time show, noone sung God Bless America and we didn't sing Take me out to the concert, a women in a nearby seat asked me if we were related (a common question about whether we are brothers). I replied "yes, by marriage, we are married to each other". She replied with a big smile "Oh, my friend thought it was blood - we made a bet and I won an ice cream cone".

At the beginning of the concert, the Celebrity Series President and Executive Director who often makes a brief speech which includes a warning to turn off cell phones made a longer speech about fund raising. They need more money and had just gotten a matching grant.

This made me think about all the disgusting opportunities they could have for sponsorship as they do in sports these days.

  • changing display ads on the side of the piano selected for appropriateness to the music - much more lucrative that the current practice where it merely says Steinway or the piano manufacturor

  • this piece in the key of e is sponsored by eBay

  • featured in the orchestra is the Delta Airlines triangle

  • high pitched crescendos by Tweeter

  • Emanuel Ax is sponsored by Craftsman Tools

  • glass harmonica by Giant Glass

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Just think of all the concerts these people could sponsor!

I love the story about the wager. Not surprising that it was the one who bet on 'by marriage' who asked the question.

Isn't it nice to know that random strangers take such an interest?

I didn't get the impression that she had bet on "by marriage". I think her friend had bet that we were blood relatives, and she had bet that we weren't.

to see Emanuel Ax

...or, as I like to think he would have been called if he'd been in the Mob, Manny the Ax.

You are sick, sick, sick!!! I like that in a person.

I look forward to a trip to Jordan Hall someday. I'll gladly join the bluehairs & baldies.

BTW, got the LCFD reimbursement check. Thanks!

When trulygrateful and I first got together, we got the "are you twins?" thing all the time. It subsided after a while, probably because for a long time we were seldom seen together outside of gay circles. But lately, what with all the hospital visits and the doctor and the P.T. and such, we've been getting it again. Not "brothers" but "twins." It does make me laugh!

Twins? Aren't you guys, like, 10 years apart in ages?

Now, I've been known to confuse the two of you, but not in real life. Only in the sense of, "which one of them uses which screen name in which online community?"

After all, nycitycub could describe you just as well as him, as could bearfuz

Of course, you're completely right. Yes, we're 8 years apart in age. And yet we get the "twin" thing all the time. We don't think we look alike at all... except perhaps in the most superficial of ways, like height and the fact that we both have facial hair (which, increasingly, is turning white). And glasses.

I've seen Ax in concert twice, both times on the West Coast many, many years ago, the first time accompanying Yo-Yo Ma and the second time on his own. Of all the pianists I've heard live, and I've heard some good ones, he's my favorite. He plays with such nuance, sensitivity, and understanding. I waited backstage to meet him after the second concert. Very small man with tiny hands, but very pleasant, gracious, and humble.

I will probably never go to another concert at Jordan Hall, since DD works at the library there and used to attend a lot of them. it's his turf, and I don't want to make him uncomfortable in his place.

I'd go to the BSO, but I can't afford the tickets.

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