I am feeling tremendously blessed this week.
Waaaaaay back in June, I tried to order tickets to see Yo Yo Ma, who performed here last week. First they said I had four tickets (and billed my credit card). Then, in late August, when they sent all the tickets I'd ordered they said they were sold out of YoYo Ma, and refunded my money. About a month ago, they realized that this had pissed people off... so they crated a list of folks to whom they'd done that, and as people returned (RETURNED???) their YoYo tickets, they began calling to offer them..
Now, I'm a person for whom timing has always been a problem. Whenever a cool event comes up, I'm the one who can't go because we can't find a babysitter. I know this about the universe...
Last week, I'd arranged with a friend that my kids would spend Friday night at her house so that DH and I could go out w/o worrying about getting home for the babysitter. Soon, her kids will spend the night here so that she and her DH can do the same.
Then C got Strep Throat.... not a good sign for sending her out to other people's homes.
but .... we got the antibiotics in time that she was no longer contagious (or even feeling particularly bad) by Friday night. The deal was still on.
Thursday evening at 6:30 I got a call from the concert folks. They had two pairs of Yo Yo tickets (thus the four I'd ordered). Did I want them.
Are they nuts? Like there was a question? Like I was gonna say NO??? (well, I might have if the babysitting were an issue... but....
I already had babysitting in place!!!!!
So, I got to go hear Yo Yo Ma play three of Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suites. He was, of course, marvelous. He received, of course, a standing ovation. He played an encore of something that I think might have been from his Appalachia Waltz. It was lovely. I liked it better even than one of the cello suites (shh, don't tell). It received, are you ready? a standing ovation. We're an appreciative crowd here in the flat lands (and yes, it was a packed house. Even the back balcony (which is behind the stage) was all but full -- out of the 150 seats there, only 8 were empty). He responded with visible delight, and performed another encore -- this was something that sounded very oriental, but I've no clue what it was. I really liked it though -- I wish I knew what it was so I could buy a recording. The third standing O was not enough to lure him back into his chair.
I did take knitting. It stayed in the bag at my feet. For Suite No. 5, I thought about it, but realized that in that packed house, I likely would disturb my seatmates, so I left it be.
Then, yesterday afternoon, a friend called with four tickets she couldn't use to go see Fazil Say play. Did I by chance want them? for free no less? OMG! Another one of those silly questions.
DH didn't want to go (???), so I took the girls to their first really fine concert. They still need a bit of concert training, but I guess they've never really been in a situation where the action at hand was listening... just listening.. They struggled, but it turned out okay in the end.
Well. let me tell you... if you like piano music at all, and have a chance to hear this man play live -- run, don't walk, to the ticket counter. (FYI: He's in New York on Friday the 14th (click link for details), and then in Italy for a month. Next US concert thereafter appears to be November 19 in Chicago, but there's a recital in Charlottsville on the 17th...) I had no idea what I was getting into, really, but I am so incredibly glad I went.
Here is the blurb that advertised this concert. It is understated.
His originally intended program included a performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring arranged for piano (4 hands). He performs on a Boesendorfer computer grand piano -- he "records" himself playing two of the hands, and then performs with the piano playing those two while he plays the other two -- thus playing with himself. Evidently, though they flew the piano in from LA, and the technician in from Vienna (and Fazil in from Istanbul), there was some degradation in the computer file that let the piano play .... it wasn't up to Mr. Says's standards.
So, learning this Tuesday afternoon, he substituted (for Tuesday evening's performance, Beethoven's Appassionata ! It was incredible! There are no words...
The other pieces he played were equally stunning. Well, almost. I liked the Appassionata best. But either way, the appreciative crowd (not as large as Yo Yo's but certainly equally responsive), gave a vigorous standing ovation. He responded with an encore of a piece that I suspect is from Silk Road but I'm not sure.
It was incredible.
I don't think I've felt so high from music in years. The audience seemed to agree, for the standing O was even more vigorous. He responded with another encore. This time it was a marvelous Gershwin arrangement of Summertime (Summertime I on the link). It brought tears to my eyes.
We stood again for another highly energetic ovation, with further cries of Bravo!
He responded with yet ANOTHER encore. Again, a piece I know but can't identify. Again, it was amazing. Again we stood for a rousing ovation. But all good things must come to an end I suppose, and he finally left the stage for good.
I'm still floating though...
When the girls and I got home from the concert, there was a package waiting for me. At first blush, it looked like this on the inside:
Can't see it well? Neither could I. But I was stunned none-the-less. It was a present .. a BIG box o yarnie goodness sent to me as a thank you for work I'd done as list mom and in-house mediator at SwapFeedBack Now the charming person who sent this had said she wanted to send me a little something. See how well she packaged it? all safe in ziplock bags inside it's cardboard box... I was expecting maybe sock yarn for a pair of socks... and she did indeed send yarn for a pair of socks...But she sent all this too!:
In front, you see that 100g ball o' sock yarn ( Lana Gross Meilenwiet Cotton Multiringel for those who care); just behind it is a 1.5 oz skein of Hunt Valley Cashmere. Already, I'm feeling pretty loved.
But there's more! 2 gorgeous skeins of Geisha (an incredibly soft bit of microfiber fluffiness). I wasn't a scarf person Monday, but now... I so want that against my skin ... I may convert! But there's still MORE!!
Three are 8 (eight, that's EIGHT!!) skeins of Pingouin Fleure de Laine 100% wool! Plenty to make a sweater!!
Do I feel loved??? uh, YES!!!
And in case that email didn't convey it well enough: THANK YOU Cheryl! You're amazing!
And it managed to get just a tad better before I slept too.
How could a day get better than free tickets to an awesome piano concert AND free yarn you ask?
The frogs in our pond started peeping, so I had a new lullaby to go to sleep by.