A reader wrote to one of the editors at Montgomery Newspapers pointing out that in my Ticket article on the Old York Road Symphony, I misspelled the Leonore Overture as Leonora. I looked back at my original Word document, and yes, indeed, the name is misspelled. I regret the error. I repudiate the error. I abhor the error. And I cannot account for it. If you walked up to me on the street and asked me to spell Leonore, the odds are six in eight I would get it right. Of course, I'll never make the mistake again.
Another editor also pointed out that there appears to be someone else out there as stuffy on these matters as I am.
In any event, the concert, previewed in the article, was enjoyable, even if the orchestra did sound rather distant in the cavernous auditorium at Abington Senior High School. The three young soloists were outstanding, particularly Philip Carter, who got to set fire to his fingerboard in the last movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Gabriel Gordon called his Albuquerque Youth Symphony one of the best youth orchestras in the country, and the kids lived up to his opinion of them. Their precision was almost military. It was intimidating. The group was also bigger than the Old York Road Symphony. With 84 musicians, it took up more of the stage and put out a bigger, brighter sound. But I really could live without hearing the Barber Adagio again. A great piece, surely, but overplayed, and it isn't sturdy enough to bear up under all the weight that's been placed on it as our unofficial, national music of mourning.
Sunday I was back in Abington, helping out at a cabaret concert and luncheon buffet she organized at Abington Presbyterian Church. I helped carry things in from the car (my back and legs still hurt) and stood behind the food tables directing traffic. Katie Eagleson was the vocalist, and the backup band included the great Al Harrison on trumpet. Katie sang from the great American songbook, as well as a novelty song about ducks and La Vie en Rose, which was a treat. Crowd was mostly older: a gentleman who purchased one of Katie's CDs walked with a cane and told me the songs reminded him of his youth. That made me rather sad: no great music should be limited to single generation.
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