Russian Masters Chamber Music at Los Angeles Phil

Gordon has been working long hours on a huge project that he’s presenting today–but we had free tickets (another donation reward) to a chamber music concert of the Russian masters at Disney Hall last night. And of course, we had to eat so we stopped at Kendall’s for a light dinner. Tuesday is a slow night so I was surprised at the crowd. We went to the bar, as usual, and I was dismayed to see two people standing behind the chairs we normally sit in. The man noticed me and said, “Oh, we’re not sitting here. This is your spot, isn’t it?” We grabbed the chairs after thanking him for his consideration. The bartender immediately changed the channel to ABC even though Jeopardy wasn’t on yet. He said he was going off shift at seven and wasn’t sure his replacement knew how to run the remote. I appreciated everyone’s thoughtfulness but I was a little taken aback. We’re only in Kendall’s about once a month; I’m really not a bar fly. I decided to shake things up by having the mussels instead of the soup. And white wine instead of red. Don’t want to become too predictable. We enjoyed our food and bombed out at Jeopardy–it’s the tournament of champions and I’m completely out of my league–then we went to the concert.

I wasn’t sure what to wear but Gordon was under time pressure and just threw a jacket on over his jeans. So I wore jeans to keep him company. I’m glad I did. The vibe is much more relaxed than on symphony night. Even the players, all members of the LA Phil, were in casual slacks and shirts. The first half of the program consisted of two Prokofiev pieces. Gordon calls it noodling–two violins running scales accompanied by a bass, an oboe and clarinet. Too much noodling for us. At intermission I asked Gordon if he wanted to stay for the second half or home and get back to work. He chose work. Didn’t hurt my feelings one bit. The guy next to me kept unwrapping candies (crinkle, crinkle, crinkle) and slurping water from his bottle. I guess I should be glad that he wasn’t on his phone. I don’t know why people go to these things if they don’t know how to sit quietly. Disney Hall is so live acoustically that any little noise is amplified. And the really embarrassing thing is that it’s old people being such jerks. The young people have better manners. Well, I’m old too which allows me to call them on their behavior. If you want to be treated with respect, act respectably or another old fart is going to call you on it. That would be me–the nemesis of the AARP generation. Gordon took me out before I could go to war but it was a near thing. I’m not much for noodling either.

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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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