Too tired to write much but I’ll note that I saw Handel’s Saul last night (Philharmonic Baroque) and then today, the all Bach concert at the Legion of Honor. Saul was great. I loved the music, (weird box of squirrels carillion! solemn and stately trombones! bassoons!) the choir was just brilliant, countertenor’s amazing voice gave me shivers, and I got an instant crush on the soprano singing Merab. Then as she was walking off stage and past my seat, all I can think is I must have been gazing at her adoringly or with a giant goofy grin, because quick as lightning she pulled a hilarious face and stuck her tongue out at me and then was all normal again. Sometimes it is the little things in life that are the most delightful!
The Wikipedia article on Saul quotes a letter describing a fabulous new instrument (the sackbut aka trombone):
He has also introduced the sackbut, a kind of trumpet,with more variety of notes,& it is 7 or 8-foot long,& draws in like a perspective glass, so may be shortened to 3-foot as the player chuses, or thrown out to its full length; despise not this description for I write from his own words.
Bits that I marked with a little star in the program: the opening hallelujah stuff, the duet between David and Michal, Merab in act 2 scene 9 singing “Author of peace, who canst control” and then the chorus “Oh fatal consequence” at the end of act 2. After that I stopped marking althought I certainly waggled my eyebrows thoughtfully when David sings “Great was the pleasure I enjoy’d in thee, and more than women’s love thy wondrous love to me!”
We must also note the excellence of the Witch of Endor’s vampirish cape.
I don’t have the right vocabulary to describe it, but there were glorious moments where the men of the chorus would start a sort of descending … cascade or something… in a minor key. Like in the end of act 1 where the chorus sings 2 lines for a few minutes. “Preserved him for the glory of thy name, thy people’s safety and the heathen’s shame” – I wished it would go on forever – I went into a complete trance. So great & complicated all at once.
It is sort of a libretto about toxic masculinity, like, at first i wanted it to be a bit more of a mirror for princes – don’t let paranoia drive you as a ruler, don’t attack the strongest allies you have out of fear or jealousy – But then pondering how even our paragons of rationality and control are mostly admired for their ability to deal out death, including gory details of how their swords reek from the entrails of the slain and their arrows always drink the blood of their victims, etc. Gross!
The Bach program today was pleasant and I liked the Coffee Cantata – very silly and adorable – the soprano was good, Shawnette Sulker. Afterwards wandered around the museum a little bit with Lisa but she had to leave. (But we did get to just stand around in front of The Russian Bride’s Attire. It’s really something! It would be amazing to cosplay with a big group. I call being the chick in the corner with the trash can hat!) I stayed a little longer and went to the Rubens exhibit by myself.
Why is it so damn hard to get over to that part of town on the bus? It took nearly 2 hours. The 38 Geary is hella slow.
Got some groceries & then crossed the street to get flowers from the woman who sets up in front of the abandoned liquor store. As always, I tried to choose flowers myself, but failed.
Flower lady: When you come to me you can get whatever you like, just tell me which ones…
Me: Um, some of these roses and these purple things and the purple thistles.
Flower lady: Don’t touch them, I will pick. It will ruin them.
Flower lady: The thistles don’t go. You need this one. And some greens. Some leafs.
Me: Just the flowers is ok.
Guy with a chihuahua and groceries: You want to buy it?
Flower lady: But I don’t know if it works. No batteries.
(Lengthy conversation in Spanish, the guy is trying to sell her a floodlight)
Me: you need to sell stuff but people want to sell you stuff!
Flower lady: Tell me about it! Every day! Well, It’s good to buy from the little people. Like me. Because you can get what you like. Whatever you like! You choose!
Me: So…. Just the flowers then. Great thanks. I love them. (My back is hurting… i want to leave….)
Flower lady: I will choose for you. The greens will invigorate. Then something to make it pop. Here (stripping leaves brutally off the stems) I will arrange for you.
Me (resigned): Ok… you’re the expert! Lovely! Yes! Great! Thanks! Looks great!
*** A MILLION YEARS PASS WHILE SHE ARRANGES THE FLOWERS ***
Me: The thing is I have a pretty tall vase.
Flower lady: (does incomprehensible things)
Me: Very symmetrical! The yellow and orange roses look like flames in the middle!
Flower lady (giving me bay leaves): Put these leaves in the bath. Good for you.
Me: Thanks, I love bay leaves
Flower lady: And like this. (it starts to look super fancy!!!)
Me: Wow. OK!
Random white guy: I want one like that.
Me: Right? It’s nice.
Guy: I have bay leaves on my ranch and I like to just crush one and have it in my pocket.
Flower lady: I will make one for you.
Guy: Something something, guatemala.
Flower lady: Oh so! You are from Guatemala!
Guy (in spanish) No I just have a 2nd house there
Flower lady (in spanish): And a second woman and some extra children who look like you.
Me: *cracks up*
Guy (super uncomfortable): No! oh, no! My girlfriend is in the grocery store across the street!
Me: You better get her flowers, man!
Flower lady: Don’t let her know about the other wife in Guatemala. Where is your girlfriend? She can pick!
Me: She’s in the grocery store, he’s gonna surprise her.
Flower lady: I will give you this extra rose, for your bedside. The rose is INVIGORATING. It gives energy. You will keep it by the BED.
Me: Oh thanks. I actually have a little vase by my bed so , perfect
Flower lady: *starts to arrange more things with the extra rose*
*** NINETEEN MILLION HOURS LATER ***
I have a giant armful of flowers and am trying to balance it as I zoom down Cortland at like 15 miles an hour on my travelscoot driving it one-handed with a bag of groceries between my feet.