Thursday, July 9, 2009

Around Town: Pops at Descano

We wandered over to Descanso Gardens on a warm Friday evening to hear the Pasadena Pops performance of “A Night in the Tropics.”

Len carried the cooler. His cousin, also named Anita, brought the burritos. I had packed salmon (broiled with a touch of wasabi), sodas, the gift jar of eggplant dip from France, crackers, organic strawberries and a mason jar with a thin-sliced blood orange, two smushed-up strawberries and Grey Goose vodka.

It was one of those wonderful La Cañada nights. Students from LCHS and Prep, congregants of PJTC and the local churches, members of Thursday Club and Descanso Guild, were out in full force, serving as volunteer ushers, selling brownies and taking tickets.

As the sun set behind the oak trees, we settled in for Capriccio Espagnol.

I grew up in a musician’s family, but the Los Angeles Philharmonic was never like this. Classical music, even at the Hollywood Bowl, was dresses with scratchy slips, the “look” that meant “shush!” and silent concentration during the performance. Plus, there were no accordions!

Parenthetically, I learned a lot about music in those days:

What is the difference between an onion and an accordion?

No one cries when you chop up an accordion!

Why are violas bigger than violins?

They aren’t. Violins and violas are the same size, but the violinist’s

head is bigger.

How do you make a violist play vibrato?

Write “solo” over his note.

These thoughts and others filled my head at the Descanso Gardens Pasadena Pops concert.

We settled into our reserved table, near the oak trees.

I glimpsed around. The people next to us had brought cloth napkins. Chintz. I began to regret the mason jar.

“Martinis?” I asked.

When we ran out, I wandered over to the Patina table for a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

The concert, by the way, was wonderful. The conductor, Rachel Worby, is dynamic. She explains the music. She was fascinating to watch.

There were tango dancers. The accordion played.

At intermission, we made plans to buy tickets for the July concert. Next time, I’ll bring two mason jars.

Published Thursday, July 2, 2009 4:11 AM PDT

No comments: