Measured Extravagance

2001-04-02 - 12:03 a.m.

As it turned out, there was no hora with the Ninja at the wedding, the ushers being ruthlessly focused on payback: it seems the groom had a history of over-enthusiastically "decorating" his friends' cars at similar gatherings. Since they couldn't take it out on the hired limo, the crew unleashed their well-primed cans of Silly String on the bride and groom instead. It was so thick (nine cans of Silly String is a LOT of aerated goo, folks) that it looked like a particularly hideous vinyl tablecloth had been dropped on the couple's heads.

* * *

I made it to choir rehearsal after all, and Music Sunday went quite well. I'd never seen P.D.Q. Bach's instrumentals performed live before - the "Sonata Abassoonata" and "Sonata Innamorata" were both pretty cute, but it was the second movement of "Sonata for Viola Four Hands" that reduced me into complete hysteria. (That's one viola, four hands, and a hacksaw. You picture the rest.) I've admired Peter Schickele ever since I first encountered his football-style analysis of Beethoven's Fifth back in high school, but now I'm utterly awestruck, both at his writing and the instrumentalists that have the technique to execute it.

Plus, as a true second alto, I'd love the guy simply for writing a part that sends me all the way down to E-flat.

* * *

One of my fellow choir-members gave me a comp to tonight's symphony concert. It turns out that the bassoonist and one of the violists from the morning's program are members of the orchestra - no wonder they had the chops for the morning's shenanigans. The program was Mozart, Haydn, Debussy and Tchaikovsky; the orchestra was auditioning Byung-Hyun Rhee, who's trying out for assistant conductor. The violist wore a fairly sombre and occasionally outright displeased expression throughout the evening - but there was an unexplained shift at intermission, during which the principal violist disappeared and she moved to his seat, so perhaps that was the source of her sour countenance.

As a whole, the concert was pleasant, but not outstanding - but stepping out into the night, now, that was a thrill. It's spring here in Nashville, and to walk down the steps of War Memorial Auditorium at night, looking out at miles of dark blue sky and shining lights - it's marvelous living in a city. I loved the walk across the plaza to my car, under the glow of the State Capitol. I loved the feel of the spring night as I moved through it - mild enough for just a light dress and jacket, yet just enough bite in it for me to appreciate a hot meal when I arrived home. I loved how alive standing on the steps of War Memorial made me feel.

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