Tuesday, February 21, 2017

concert review: Santa Cruz Symphony

It's been raining fairly hard the last couple of days. Yesterday, the main road to Santa Cruz was blocked by a tree falling over, and just as drivers who happened to be packing chainsaws cleared away half of that problem, the same direction of the highway was blocked several miles further back by a rockslide.

On Saturday, however, no rain fell, and because of that I thought it safe to venture to Santa Cruz on that road, since it was already by then the only one open without going 50 miles out of my way and then probably still being blocked. I left very very early and got there in plenty of time, having brought with me a pile of scanning work I needed to do at FedEx, and used my extra time to do that.

I was there on assignment to review the Santa Cruz Symphony, as it was being guest-pianisted by Yuja the Unavoidable, and my editor was curious as to what would happen when she descended in all her sequin-clad glory on a small waterlogged central coast town.

Turned out that she and the locals meshed well together, and I could describe it quite succinctly. (I disclaim responsibility for the Trumpesque headline.) My reviews used to push 1000 words, but ever since I was told to keep them under 650, I'm finding my whole thought processes changing. I thought I had a lot to say about the music, but it turned out brief. Anything else I might have added seemed superfluous. Yuja's dresses (she changed at intermission)? No. The bizarre venue, strangest one I attend regularly, with the ambiance of a basketball arena? No.

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