Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ravinia week 05 (July 30-August 5)

including the exciting Ravinia parking lot story!

This week’s CSO Programs

James Conlon, Conductor
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A Minor

James Conlon, Conductor
Plácido Domingo, Tenor
Ana Maria Martinez, Soprano
Gala Benefit Concert

James Conlon, Conductor
André Watts, Piano
Leonore Overture, No. 3, Op. 72a
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67


2:30-5 CSO rehearsal

2:30-5 CSO rehearsal
8 CSO concert


10:30-1 2-5 CSO rehearsals

7 CSO concert

12:30-3 CSO rehearsal
5 CSO concert

The only truly notable thing about these concerts is that temperatures are forecast in the nineties this week. I didn’t bother to include the ‘Gala’ repertoire, partly because the list is about a page long, partly because it includes much of the kind of fluff that makes galas intolerable.

Also, I have a particular sore spot for Ravinia galas, not to mention a dent in my car to tell about.

Last year I made the mistake of driving – I usually ride my bike to rehearsals and concerts. After the gala I was out the door quickly as is my custom, but not quickly enough to evade the guy directing traffic. After my quick exit from the musician’s parking lot a self-important traffic guy with flashlight and reflective vest stopped me at the next corner so that the rich gala attendees could slowly trundle their luxury automobiles out of the adjoining lot. Many cars exited while the line behind me continued to grow. At long last, no more cars came, or so it seemed. Obviously under orders from Ravinia management not to let a single musician cross until every last member of the second estate exited, the traffic guy continued to block a long line of cars, waiting to see if perhaps a few more might straggle out from the other lot. His problem (at least one of them anyway) was that from where he stood blocking my way, he was unable to see into the lot with the priority exiting privileges. By that point I was sufficiently irked to see this as an opportunity to turn the incident into a skirmish in the ongoing class war. Additionally, my position at the head of the line made me feel somehow responsible for all the other plebian automobiles forced to sit idling, waiting for the mere possibility that someone of more importance might emerge from the other lot.

Perhaps his resolve wavered, but I think he simply needed to abandon his post in order to see what was holding up the rich drivers. In any event, the parking guy turned his back and walked away without giving an explicit sign I had to continue waiting – a kind of parking ‘Simon Says’. That is when I seized the moment. Alas for me, my car, in its 16th year last summer, lacked the necessary acceleration to fully escape his wrath. Seeing himself bested, the parking guy erupted in rage – I could hear his shouted obscenities even though my car wanted for a muffler at the time. In desperation, he summoned burst of superhuman energy and managed to strike my car with his flashlight. I like to imagine that he threw it, like some modern-day Ninja of the parking lot, but I suspect that he was able to chase down my sluggish car to get close enough and whack me as I went by. In no mood to stop and confront somebody so obviously dealing with anger management issues, I waited until arriving at home to assess the damage.

I’ve decided to keep the resulting small crescent-shaped dent unrepaired for a number of reasons – the age of my car, my own cheapness, but not least to remind myself why I dislike Ravinia Galas.


Adriel said...

Any similarities, sonic or metaphoric, between the sound of flashlight on sheet metal and the blows of fate in the final movement of Mahler 6?

eric said...

Wow, anger management is seriously needed, there. Is the pecking order (1) Rich patrons, (2) Music Directors, (3) Musicians, or is #2 more important than #1? *grin*