Monday, June 1, 2020

alternative universe IV

In the alternative world, the classical concert season is winding down for the summer, but its month of June is still full of things that, in this lower-powered world, I won't be doing:

Friday, June 5-Sunday, June 7: C.S. Lewis and Friends Colloquium, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana
This was going to be my second trip out of town this year (the first one, to Seattle in January, I actually took). I'd known for some time of this biannual conference held at a small Christian college; it was the theme for this year, "Are Women Human (Yet)?: Gender and the Inklings," that attracted me, because it would be a perfect venue for the presentation I'd already written, "The Forgotten Women of Middle-earth." Also, it's been my experience with Lewis-and-friends conferences that they can always use a few more Tolkien experts. My proposal was accepted with enthusiasm, but then came, still before the shutdown, the wise decision to postpone to next year. That left me, very briefly, with the possibility of attending the concerts at home I'd be missing that weekend.

Saturday, June 6: Redwood Symphony, Cañada College, Redwood City
I was really looking forward to this one and sorry I would be missing it for my conference, because it featured Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony. Eric K has led all the best Mahler performances I've ever heard, and the Fourth is the only Shostakovich symphony that's really like a Mahler: long, meandering, self-indulgent, and completely unexpected and baffling as to what it's doing and where it's going. I expected revelatory clarity of vision from this one. But alas, it will not be, nor will the Ravel left-hand concerto that was going with it.

Sunday, June 7: Symphony Silicon Valley, California Theatre, San Jose
This one got changed twice. Originally Tatsuya Shimono was going to conduct Schubert's Unfinished and Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony, a program that filled me with sheer delight. Then, while this date still looked open but earlier concerts had been cancelled, the program from one of those got moved in: Nakamatsu playing the Beethoven Two, the least interesting of his concertos, and the Choral Fantasy, even less interesting than that. Even the presence of the Schumann Fourth Symphony, which last got canceled here when George Cleve died, didn't quite compensate for the loss of the original show. But it matters not, because the replacement got canceled too.

Sunday, March 14: Mythopoeic Society book discussion, MK's house, San Jose
The last discussion was actually held, at our house, the second weekend in March, the last social thing we did in person. Will this one be held online? I don't know, and judging from recent experience, if we wait for the secretary to tell us, we may never find out. The topic is The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson, which I haven't attempted to locate yet.

Monday, June 15: dentist appointment, Mountain View
Yes, these get postponed too. I phoned my dentist this morning to inquire what was up. They've just reopened and are still getting their aerosol-limiting devices in shape, so they asked me to postpone a month. I can survive that.

Thursday, June 18: San Francisco Symphony, Davies
This was going to be the penultimate concert of MTT's music-directorial reign, and much more appealing to me than the grand finale (Mahler's Eighth, ugh). The estimable Gil Shaham would play the estimable Barber Violin Concerto, plus a curtain-raiser by Corigliano and the ever-protean Shostakovich Fifth.

Sunday, June 21: Garden of Memory, Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland
The annual walk-through concert at the columbarium, which I've been going to every year I can get to it since I first heard about it 15 years ago. Unfortunately those years have not included the last two, when I had conflicting engagements, so I was awaiting it all the more.

Sometime that week, Mountain View CPA
All I have in my calendar is a note to get tickets for a production of The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson. I saw this play, about the making of Shakespeare's First Folio, at Ashland two years ago, and thought it so delightful I wanted to see it again.

There has been some music in my life, though: the Alexander Quartet, whom I'd never classified as an ensemble particularly notable for verve or grit, showed both in a Zoom performance of Dvořák's "American" Quartet. Take a listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment