Friday, August 17, 2007

Hollywood Bowling

I took my granddaughter, nearly 8 years old, to the Hollywood Bowl last night. I expected my grandson to come as well but he declined. He is not yet 6 and still a bit young to impose Great Art upon him, but the time will come when I think we (his parents and I) shouldn't take "no, I'd rather stay home and play on the computer with my dad" as a suitable option. I believe his father has introduced him to "City of Heroes"...

So the program was The Grand Tour: Mozart in Vienna and it was delightful. I was surprised that the Five Contradances only got a single iteration (they're very short, played once through) - is that typical? Obviously not if one were dancing, but for concert performances? Perhaps someone else will know the answer and leave a comment.

I was not familiar with the pianist, Shai Wosner, but he was very good at the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor - a piece that requires very fast hands. One of the nice things about the big screens put up now at the Hollywood Bowl is the close-ups shown and fast hands are shown to good effect!

Courtney loves the violins; she was very excited about hearing the violins again. I asked her as we drove out, "would you like to play violin?" and she said no, she'd like to play the piano (!!) - I found that very curious - I guess I can't entirely relate to the idea of loving an instrument, as a child, and not wanting to learn how to play it... hmmm.

The conductor Nicholas McGegan was good fun, I've not seen him before. He was very engaged with the music and his enthusiasm was infectious. He also wasn't put out by people applauding between movements of the symphony (No. 41, "Jupiter") and occasionally you'll see the eye-rolling "how can I be playing for these peasants?" kind of attitude.

I was also very impressed with the L.A. Phil's new Principal Oboe, Ariana Ghez. As many of you know, I have extensive first hand experience of excellent oboists!

I really love these concert trips with Courtney. At home she bounces around almost endlessly, but she behaves beautifully in these settings. Her questions are soft and she tries to wait until later (!!). She does bounce along with the music some, but that's allowed, right? (it had better be - what a sad world if bouncing along to the music wasn't allowable).