Encore Steals the Show

Alison and I found our way to the Circle Theater last night for a performance of Schumann’s Cello Concerto and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The Schumann was performed by Argentine Sol Gebetta. Given my choice of cello concertos, I’d choose Dvorak’s. But Schumann’s was interesting too. What really impressed me was Ms. Gebetta’s encore – I don’t know what it was (if she announced it from the stage, I didn’t hear). I normally don’t go for modern pieces but this one impressed me. The final time through she sang the melody (sang!) – it was fantastic, well deserving of the standing ovation.

This was also the first time Alison and I have seen Krzysztof Urbański conduct in person. I like his style – not terribly flashy, generally straight forward and simple.

Update: I’ve scoured the interwebs for leads on the amazing encore I heard last night. It is by a composer named Peteris Vasks. The portion Sol Gebetta played last night starts around 2:55. The whole video is good though. Enjoy.

“Never forget that they were all wrong”

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, a move that occurred while I was on spring break at IU. While at IU, I wrote letters to the editor in favor of the war, attended counter-protests against the anti-war protesters. My vocal support for that conflict, my unquestioning approval of the policies of President Bush and my unthinking disdain for the voices of peace and diplomacy is probably the most shameful episode of my past.

Ta-Nehisi Coates expresses my feelings pretty well: “But more than anything the Iraq War taught me the folly of mocking radicalism. It seemed, back then, that every “sensible” and “serious” person you knew — left or right — was for the war. And they were all wrong. Never forget that they were all wrong. And never forget that the radicals with their drum circles and their wild hair were right.”