Monday, March 2, 2009


Yesterday --on another rainy Sunday afternoon, as I took BART to Civic Center to change to the MUNI METRO to go to dinner at a Japanese restaurant in the Castro before going to a two-hour Schola Cantorum rehearsal at the S.F. Girls' Chorus building near Van Ness Avenue-- I had my head in a book, as is my wont. My friend Adam K had given me his copy of Wm. Paul Young's novel The Shack, a moving story about dealing with tragedy and loss. It's beautifully written... and I've been taking my time reading it-- interspersed among several other things. I was also reluctant to face the tragic abduction of the little girl. I'm such a wuss at times.

Anyway, just as the protagonist met the triune God --whom his wife called "Papa"-- in the person of a large black woman in the shack where his daughter had been murdered, we arrived at 16th Street... and a trio of musicians boarded the train. The ensemble consisted of a saxophonist, bass drummer, and a tuba-wrapped cornet player on his knees. I didn't stick around to hear him play um-pah-pah on the tuba, since I was going only one more stop, but the whole interlude seemed to fit the incongruity of the book I was reading.

The night before I heard an extraordinary performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor played by the stunningly beautiful Ann-Sophie Mutter conducted by MTT and the San Francisco Symphony. It was certainly the fastest version I've ever heard ...and was absolutely brilliant! I wished my sister Cynthia could have gone. The rest of the concert was a relatively obscure overture by Prokofiev and two sets of waltzes by Ravel -- one written before World War I, the other, after. Ravel was clearly the master orchestrator!

Earlier in the afternoon, my friends Adam and Justin visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They said they had a marvelous time visiting the sea creatures. Dennis and I went there at the time of David and Lissa's wedding in Carmel on my parents' wedding anniversary, September 1st, six and a half years ago. What wonderful memories!

Saturday morning I had attended a lecture on the Library of Alexandria and its revival. Fascinating! The location of the older library is now under water. Such was my rainy weekend following S.F. Ballet's "Swan Lake" with Adam on Friday night. Now to face a drizzly Monday morning back at work.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)