Day By Day

Saturday, March 29, 2008

City Life

Still enjoying life in the big..., well, medium-sized city. Thursday evening "She Who Must Not Be Named" and I went out for an early dinner and then to the Meyerhoff to hear the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. It was my first chance to hear the new musical director, Marin Alsop, live. You can listen to her discuss the night's program here while the symphony practices in the background. Not bad..., not bad at all, although her diminutive stature makes her sweeping baton gestures look a bit jerky. I was reminded of Mickey Mouse in "Fantasia".

The first half of the program was all Dvorak; first a minor piece, "Notturno in B Major, opus 40" then his famous "Sixth Symphony in D Major". Both were well done and I enjoyed the performance even though I still prefer the "New World" and was really interested in listening to the Brahms.

After the intermission came the real treat -- Andre Watts, playing Brahms Piano Concerto #2. Watts is a real showman and is fun to watch, and his technique is amazing. Here's a video of him performing Mendelssohn with John Williams. All in all, a wonderful evening.

Then on Friday we met with some friends for a light dinner. Afterwards we all trekked up to the Walters to see the Baltimore Map Festival -- a fascinating exhibit of maps from the medieval to the modern era including three da Vinci's and several maps of historical importance such as "The Map That Changed The World" pictured above. There was also a "mapping the cosmos" section featuring some stunning images taken by the Hubble space telescope. There was even an interpretive dance program which I must confess I didn't understand at all -- it had something to do with connections and interaction and stuff like that dressed up in "art speak" [which is to say, gibberish]. Afterwards, we headed back to the Harbor for coffee, cake and conversation.

Tomorrow we head back to the mountains. I'll miss the city's attractions, but Appalachian Springtime has its own powerful charms.

Oh yes..., the magnolias on Mount Vernon Square are blooming -- spring has indeed sprung!