(With apologies to Handel enthusiasts.)
No disrespect, of course. But please remind me not to attend another all-Handel concert ever again. When we went to Disney Hall last night, I was quite excited about the prospect--in all my musical ignorance and forgetfulness. I imagined we were going to hear something elegant and inspiring. We got the elegance alright--too much of it for my taste. The inspiration, though...
Let me be sure to say that I blame myself, not the composer or the orchestra. As I suggested, I am ill-informed about music, and my ear is to say the least of it unschooled. I will say, though, that the music seemed to me formulaic, mind-numbingly perky--and unfailingly polite. I ended up longing for a big, rude musical fart, anything to intrude on the cucumber sandwich and Earl Grey tea party, the sheer 18th century Englishness of it all (and yes, I do know Handel's German; he must have spent too much time in Queen Anne and King George England). Court music. It summoned up images of unearned privilege, a decadent and perfumed aristocracy with wigs and garters. (Was this why the conductor, an energetic French woman of obvious talent and unwavering enthusiasm, wore that strange skirt with a bustle at the bum? Again, please, no disrespect!) So... Much too much teacake, not enough bangers and mash.
Already long before the intermission, I caught myself trying to establish a reliable count of the number of musicians who wore eyeglasses, just to keep my own eyes open. I was aiming for a more or less accurate percentage, in the interests of scientific research. But then I realized that some of them must be wearing contact lenses, so it wouldn't be a fair count anyway. So I turned my attention back to the bustle. That kept me occupied.