Tuesday, January 8, 2013

dropsy of a concert

I decided I had time to eat at home before rushing off to the concert I was going to review. Maybe that's why I was flustered and clumsy enough to 1) drop my tickets on the floor without noticing that I'd done so (only the second time that's ever happened, the first being the day I spent rushing around Carmel for the Bach Festival); 2) only after flipping through the book I was carrying to see if I'd maybe stuck the tickets inside there realizing that I'd grabbed the wrong book when I'd left the car, and was not carrying the book about the composer whose work was being featured; 3) when fishing in my shirt pocket for a pencil during a break in the concert, dumping the other contents of the pocket out on the floor without realizing I'd done that, either.

However, I wasn't the only one. The conductor came out for one piece, bowed, and then headed backstage again. She'd forgotten to bring the score.

I did, however, manage to get the review written by the next afternoon, which is faster than I usually am. A certain amount of research is packed into this one; let's see if the readers who don't like that object.

As the review says, I hadn't realized just how intense a tribute this would be to Lou Harrison, nor the richness of the SJSU connections. B. was a music student at SJSU during Harrison's years there, and would see him padding around the building. (Meanwhile, the most famous composer I would see around the U.C. Berkeley Music Dept. in those days was Andrew Imbrie. I'd rather have had Harrison.) She also knew some of the other names on the program, including the composer Brent Heisinger, who was her theory teacher. (That makes her the grandpupil of Humphrey Searle. Gadzooks. And Harrison studied with Schoenberg. How did Harrison and Heisinger emerge unscathed?)

If I had realized what a festive tribute this was to be, I might have included it in my contributions to the Spring Season Preview, which is also now up. I'd been asked to write up 3 or 4 interesting-looking concerts of my choice in the South Bay, and I did, and they're slotted in there, three of them in Part 1 and one in Part 2.

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