Los Angeles Phil May 28, 2015 Concert

Gordon and I went to Kendall’s for soup and wine before the LA Phil concert and our spot was taken! Two women were in my spot! We had to find another less desirable spot but at least we could watch the TV. The bartender looked surprised to see us in our new location but he came over and gave me a hug. You know you’re spending too much time at the bar when the bartender hugs you. But he changed the channel from tennis to Jeopardy so I was happy. The concert consisted of three world premieres. The first, Ritornello, was composed by a 34-yr-old North Carolina woman (she looked like a girl) named Shaw. It was multi-media production that emphasized repetition. The movie screen over the performers showed paper folding and refolding and morphing into industrial cable. The Calder Quartet and the singers, Mouthful of Teeth (Shaw was one of the singers), provided the accompaniment. It was compelling in a non-verbal way. Shaw seemed gratified by the applause.
The second piece, Quilting, was composed by a kid named Dessner and conducted by Dudamel. The program notes said Dessner wanted articulate his feelings about 19-century America. I didn’t get anything American, contemporary or otherwise, but that’s me. He had a symphony that was large enough to play a Mahler piece so simplicity wasn’t the focus. The percussion seemed slightly off but I was burping soup so that too could have been me too.
The last piece was a Concerto for Two Pianos by Philip Glass, featuring the Labeque sisters, and also conducted by Dudamel. The orchestra again was huge which kind of blew the minimalist Glass-typecasting out the window but I liked it. It was accessible. The Labeque sister were wonderful and did an encore. All the composers got to take bows after their pieces but I got the biggest kick out of Glass. He wore a rumpled suit with a chambray shirt and no tie. He got a standing ovation and seemed surprised by it. Good concert.


About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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