Sunday, April 17, 2005

Mitsuko Uchida

I drove to Cleveland yesterday to hear
Mitsuko Uchida
play two Mozart concerti, 14 in Eb and 23 in
A. It was such a beautiful performance. I was in the
second row and was only about 20 feet from her. She was
conducting as well. Her enthusiasm and spirit are
intoxicating. I didn't know the Eb until I checked out the
CD from the (wonderful)
Carnegie Library.
I listened to it about 10 times
before the concert, and I'm so happy I did. It took some
time for me to find the magical spots (even though, in
retrospect, I know there are many). The A major is one of
the greatest works of art. I talked with Barnaby on my way
to Cleveland and he made the comical comment "Mozart was
AMAZING in A major". Indeed.

James Gaffigan"
conducted some early symphonies in between
the two concerti. I remember seeing him as a senior at NEC
conducting some Mozart opera scenes when Eve was playing in
the orchestra. Though I initially rolled my eyes when I
recognized who he was, I was charmingly surprised. He was
wonderfully clear and expressive, and had lost the
gratuitous showmanship he showed
when I saw him 4 years ago. He did a terrific job.

The most upsetting event of the day was seeing the vandalized Rodin sculpture at the back of the Cleveland Art
Museum. In 1970 some jackasses protesting Vietnam thought
it would be appropriate to destroy an irreplaceable work of
art with 3 sticks of dynamite. They remounted it with the
bottom torn open. It made me sick to my stomach to see such
a ridiculous sacrilege. Einstein's quip about the infinite
stupidity of man came to mind (along with a long chain of

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