Thursday, July 26, 2012

Music@Menlo, day 3

This was a short day for me, as I was only there to hear Jeffrey Kahane, who's always good at this, take a masterclass. A movement of the Mendelssohn Piano Trio Op. 49 was fine enough, though, as Kahane pointed out, it's a well-known work. The revelation was a movement (the opening movement, I guess) of Dohnanyi's Piano Quintet Op. 26. What a fantastically great piece of music, which I'd never heard before (neither had Kahane, though he claims to like Dohnanyi even more than I do). I'm going back to hear this in full at the Prelude concert tomorrow, you betcha.

Afterwards, off with B. to appear in a regional theater performance of Three Men and Four Women and a Baby: Episode 2, At a Seafood Restaurant. Passed the time before the show started by paying our first visit in many's the year to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This has been totally refurbished since our last trip, and nothing's the same except the otter tank. The big open sea tank that used to dominate the middle of the building seems to have been removed, and the entire rest of the building is now best describable as the aquarium building at a zoo, built to the same model as the insect building and the small-reptile building. Walking along winding darkened theme pathways, you're invited to peer in windows that reveal small tanks in which live a small colony of one or two or three species. There are entire corridors of jellyfish, or jellies as they are now apparently known - appropriate, since they're about to take over the ocean in place of all the fish we've harvested - and seahorses, the latter something I'd hardly ever seen, at least alive, before. (A colony of live sand dollars - they prefer to live on the sandy bottom, resting on their edge - was another new one on me.) There are also a few seabirds, including penguins. The changes were a bit disconcerting at first, but I think it's a better museum now than it used to be.

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