Tuesday, February 9, 2016

quiet weekend

If the local traffic wasn't bad on Super Bowl weekend, you can credit me. (Among others.) I didn't go anywhere. I cocooned at home all weekend, not wanting to know what I'd find if I went anywhere. Just please, God and the local politicians, don't try to gift us with the Olympics. Three weeks of disruption instead of one.

Prompted by various online comments, I did, however, subsequently seek out the video of Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem. It was like an anthology of jazz-vocalist ornamentations.

From what I've read about the game - you don't think I'd actually watch it, do you? - the Denver defense shut down the other team's quarterback. Commentators seem to think this was admirable, though they admit it makes a dull game. (Why? They seem to love it when baseball pitchers shut down all the batters, and that's duller than John Foster Dulles.) But you know how football defenses intimidate a quarterback, don't you? They do it by walloping him so hard when they catch him that he loses his nerve. That's exactly the sort of thing that leads to all those brain injuries being tutted over these days.

I did get out, however, on the anchor days. Friday I got an emergency editorial assignment: go ye this evening unto the Concrete Tent in Palo Alto and cover the New Century Chamber Orchestra, because the alternatives would be to take in Saturday's in the City (far away) or Sunday's in Marin (even further). It was a Yehudi Menuhin commemorative concert, though his birthday's not till April, featuring Daniel Hope, the violinist I remember so glaringly not fitting into the Beaux Arts Trio because his style differed so much from the other players'. If he'd sounded at all like Menuhin, the fit would have been a lot better. He didn't sound any more like Menuhin this time (nobody does, actually), but it mattered less.

There were eight pieces in this concert, but I got mention of all of them in, despite the restricted word count.

Then on Monday I ventured up to the Freight in Berkeley for their monthly classical concert, a little Schubertiade (his birthday was last week). Ben Simon and friends played an early string trio (D.471, though they didn't say so), the piano impromptu in G-flat (exceedingly Chopinesque, this performance: his birthday was last week also), and the Trout Quintet. The last got up to its greatest verve in the finale, and the audience - probably due to being, in this venue, mostly untrained in classical - didn't even applaud by mistake at the false ending.

I took BART, fairly relaxing this time, which lets off only a block away, one of the many reasons I like the Freight's new venue much better than their old one down in the flats, but due to traffic it took over an hour to drive to the station (25 minutes coming back), so I await eagerly the completion of the extension, which should make this a little easier.

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