Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jay Gottlieb Concert

What a wonderful evening of piano! Jay plays music that I might easily turn off if I heard it on the radio. I enjoy Copland, Bernstein, and Gershwin, but many of the early 20th century composers either make me cringe or just leave me indifferent. It's not the same in concert. First of all, you can feel the vibrations from the piano in your feet. You can see the intensity in Jay's facial expressions and the tenseness or fluidity of his hands. His program last night was centered around Jewish composers. It was the middle concert of three in honor of Viktor Ullman, a composer who died at Auschwitz and whose music was only recently discovered. Jay's program did not include any of Ullman's compositions though. Of course he was called back to the stage for some encores and played some Sondheim (whose A Little Night Music is coming to Paris, at last, next week) and Gershwin. As usual, the Gershwin at the end reminds me of my mother playing in the living room before dinner -- never misses. We went to one of Jay's concerts a couple of years ago with the kids and they felt it too.
Of course thinking of Jay makes me think of Beth that Jay reconnected me to. That was in 2007, I think, before I got on to facebook and found so many of my high school mates. Jay is a dear high school friend of Rita's; I went to a concert with Rita and she introduced me to Jay; I wrote to Jay to thank him and ask if he might know, or know of, Beth, MY high school friend, and he sent me back her address! On her birthday! Since I remembered it was her birthday, I dug out a picture from an old album of her birthday at my house, scanned it and sent it to her. Now we see each other on facebook mostly. I wouldn't miss a day of her links to art, poetry, and music.
Among other coincidences involving Jay, I met a flutist who knows him when I went to help Céline move in December. Céline is Derek's wife, Derek, my techwriter friend who died in October from the H1N1 flu. Derek and Ashley were both from Chicago, and somehow met here in Paris. I think it was talking about that "small world" coincidence that led me to tell her about my finding Beth through Jay, that she told me she knew Jay! Definitely a small world!
Other news
Well, not news, but just other stuff. I saw a flyer at the American Library for a Don McClean concert in April at the Cigale.  Since his repertoire is enormous and not limited to American Pie (you can listen to it there), I think I'd like to go to it. On the other side of the flyer was the announcement of Kevin Costner (yes, the actor) performing on Feb. 22.
My back is allowing me to go on walks again! On Wednesday, we had a pleasant fast-paced stroll along the Seine from the Ile aux Cygnes, where the mini Statue of Liberty is, to the Jardin des Plantes. I forgot to take my camera :-(

1 comment:

Ellen said...

I did like your Mahler medlée, Jay!
What I didn't mention in the blog was that the venue was very small and there seemed to be some problem getting in for more than half the audience. They were admitted one at a time every few minutes and 45 minutes after the announced beginning everyone was finally seated. And Rita told me there was noise in the back from the guy at the bar. Paul and I were lucky as I had made the reservation on the web and sent in my check a month ago. When the check hadn't been cashed, I sent an email inquiring if it had been lost and was reassured everything was ok. I printed that out to have with me, just in case something went wrong, but we had no trouble getting in and getting good seats. That said, I would hesitate going to the Archipel again.