Sunday, February 1, 2009

California living

Hmm, there are a number of things I feel I should have blogged about but didn't, so I'll try to make up for it a little right now. Let's see, last weekend I saw Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious for the first time in many years, and it was even better than I remembered it. It was also AWESOME to see it in a theater, not only for the film but to experience it with other people. Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains (for some reason, I just love his name) were all great. CG & IB just played off each other so well. Anyway, it was great, and if you've never seen it, I recommend.

I also went to the San Francisco Symphony Symphony on Tuesday evening, and that was really fun. They sounded really good. I liked the Berg piece they played quite a bit. The oboes sounded good (although I could have used a little more, actually!) and it was fun to hear a new orchestra for me! It was also kind of a weird experience because people insisted on clapping violently between all movements of every piece on the program. This was annoying during the Berg, but whatever, I subscribe to the belief that if people like a piece they should be able to clap if they feel like it and not be made to feel like ill-informed morons. Anticipating this issue, MTT made a very polite announcement before the start of the Brahms, asking people to please refrain from clapping until the very end so we could better enjoy the piece as a whole. I thought his message was very polite and very clear and not at all condescending. And yet a small number of people INSISTED on clapping LOUDLY between each movement of the Brahms, and of course by now it was accompanied by angry (and equally annoying) SSSSSSSSHHHHHH!!!s. I thought maybe that it was kids who were clapping, and that since this is LA, their parents didn't bother to reprimand or explain to them why not to clap. But I don't know, it was very strange and pretty annoying.

Anyway, I enjoyed the concert very much, and I ALSO enjoyed meeting up with an old NU friend, then going out with a bunch of trombone players after the concert and watching them drink LARGE quantities of beer (in liter mugs, no less). I myself partook a bit, but I am a complete novice in comparison (well, to be fair, also quite a bit smaller).

Finally, I was rear-ended on Friday. It was a rare rainy day in LA, and it was under an overpass, where the rain made things slick but it never washed the oil and grit away since it was covered. It was a minor accident, no one was hurt, it wasn't my fault so the minor (I hope--it's driveable, anyway) damage to my car should be taken care of soon. Although the girl who hit me's car didn't look so hot. Anyway, it was still kind of scary. I've actually never EVER been in a car accident before at all, not sure how I managed to make it this far, but I am grateful that after 2.5 years of frequent freeway driving in LA, this is all that's gone wrong so far. (knock on wood). It kind of freaked me out that there was a fatal, head-on collision on the 10 soon after (how that happened I don't know, seems kind of hard to go the wrong way, but . . . ) which closed down the freeway for hours and cause a traffic nightmare on the entire West Side. Not to mention that there have been several small earthquakes here in the past few weeks and I have felt them all. Guess I am just living the ultimate California life.

Oh, and tonight I played an AYS concert, just one piece, Barber's Knoxville Summer of 1915, which is beautiful, but nerve-wracking to play. There is only one woodwind a part, and our principal was generous enough to give it to me since it doubles on English horn. So everything is exposed, needs to be in tune, and there is doubling. Very stressful. But it went well, and I enjoyed playing it. Diana Newman sounded great, again. Her voice kind of reminds me of Heidi Grant Murphy, very pure and light. Maybe that's because I've also heard HGM sing both Mahler 4 and KS1915, which are the two pieces I've heard Diana sing. I wish I could have heard the rest of the concert, but I had to go and practice/reed for some upcoming auditions and performances. I hope everyone played well and had fun!

1 comment:

G said...

Ah! "Notorious" is in my top three Hitchcock movies! Possibly in the #1 spot, if I could ever put a number to them. And you got to see it in a theater! Lucky...