Sunday, September 30, 2018

Another Side of Me (You Probably Didn't Know)

The other night, we ventured out in the rain.  It has rained here for three weeks non-stop.  Hard, heavy downpours that have left many people and homes completely soaked.  We need the water, no doubt.  That said, my little brother is coming for a ten-day visit and we wanted to do some repairs and updates around the house.  The rain put a stall to all of it.   A long list and I won't bore you with the details.  More on this trip later.

We went to a concert.  Not just any concert and not one with loud amplification and crowds.  A very good friend of ours is a well-known music teacher at the state university.  He plays piano, string instruments and his love is the accordion.   You're already conjuring up ideas of folkloric music and polkas.   Not even close.  Alfonso plays classical music and very, very well.  Not necessarily related, but he is also a polyglot speaking six languages of which he all learned on his own.  

The invitation was for a two-hour concert which is located in a house in Monterrey.  It's not a big house but has a place downstairs to mingle both inside and out, with a small pavilion next to a pool where they have outside cocktail parties and concerts.  Very accommodating.   We had a glass of wine before the concert and met some of our friends there as well.

Upstairs is a small theater.  Dark, walls covered in long black curtains.  It's all with assigned seating and maximum capacity of 50 persons.  This place is incredible.  I've never quite understood, and have mentioned it before here on the blog, the need for amplification. Some of the pieces we listened to were; In A Persian Market, Funeral March of a Marionette, Por Una Cabeza, which to most of you are all very popular but have a long history in terms of musical composition.  If you were to hear them you would say, "oh, that's from a show or a movie".   Very true.

The interesting part of the evening was that Alfonso gives historical background about the composer as well as the intended story behind the piece so that as you are listening to.  You can actually imagine what is happening based on what you are listening to, just like they did before electricity, movies, and musical recordings. 

Back to my past.  When I was in high school I became a fan of symphonic orchestras, classical music and opera.  I don't speak much about it and don't play the music when other people are around.  They always seem to find the music boring and give me strange looks and poo poo classical music.  I started out as an usher at the Kansas City Auditorium where the orchestra played.  It was a great escape for a young kid but in a healthy environment.  We started a fan club for Jorge Messer who was our conductor and who by the way is Mexican but from a Hungarian background.  I met such greats as Zubin Mehta, Van Cliburn, Zara Nelsova (aka Sara Nelson) and many, many more famous people as well as opera singers and groups such as the Rolling Stones (yes, I was backstage watching them perform).  It was a lot for a 14 year old, at least at the time.  

One last thing, I haven't even checked the blog in a few weeks and I see several messages.  I apologize for not seeing or answering them but will do so this week. 


  1. Memo for next time we meet: play the classical music. I love it. And Bluegrass music. That opposite ends of the spectrum enough for you? /smile

  2. We listen to classical music...a lot! Know one ever knows who people were in their other and earlier lives. Thanks for the look back in time

  3. Growing up in the Netherlands, I played in an all accordion orchestra. Most of the music was by Fanz von Suppé, powerful overtures with a loud bang at the end! I still have my 120 base accordion, a Parisian built Carron Freres, but it is now an ornament…

  4. That sounds like a wonderful environment to have a concert. I would have loved to have been there.