Sunday, January 30, 2011

if music be the food of love, play on

I am stuffed; over filled. I have had the great, good fortune of seeing two stupendous concerts this weekend.

The first was almost cancelled since the pianist Lang Lang (yes, the same artist that played for our president during the Chinese president's visit) came down with an illness. He was to play Rachmaninoff with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Amazingly, the BPO was able to convince Joyce Yang that she should forgo a trip to Sarasota (current temperature 72 degrees F) to order to play in Buffalo (21 degrees F). This young woman got a standing ovation BEFORE she played - the audience was so appreciative that she even considered coming here. And, she gave us a PERFORMANCE. When the audience requested an encore she chose Gershwin's   "The man I love."  And it was truly lovely. We were in the balcony, and I could see that Kleinhan's was packed. EVERY time I go to this music hall I remark on the incredible acoustics. It is a superb venue. No wonder Joyce chose us over Sarasota.  We are SO lucky to have such a space in Buffalo.

The second musical experience was the Charles Lloyd quartet. If it weren't for Bill I wouldn't know Charles Lloyd. But, he is a magnificent saxophonist who played with Jack De Johnette and Keith Jarrett among others.  He's a national treasure. He now plays with three young, very hip musicians (bass- Reuben Rogers, piano - Jason Moran, and drums - Eric Harland). The Buffalo gig was their last concert until June. They had just come from playing Rose Hall in NYC last night. Charles came out with his hands clasped in "Namaste" and concluded the evening with a tune about enlightenment!! He pulled up a chair beside Jason Moran's stool  at the piano and quoted passages from a  translation of Bhagavad Gita.

The concert was in the "black box" at the Albright Knox Art Gallery. We got to the gallery a little bit early so we were able to take in the three (YES, THREE) rooms of Picasso. The music auditorium has 2 sides of glass: one side looks out at the Buffalo State campus, and the other at Delaware Park. The concert was in the late afternoon so we were able to watch the sun set against the stark, leafless trees. Truly, a feast for eyes and ears.

At the end of the evening, I turned to Bill and thanked him for buying the tickets. If it weren't for him I wouldn't feel so full. And it all happened in Buffalo... without having to ingest any chicken wings.

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