Monday, November 13, 2017

With or Without Clothes

On Sunday, November 11, 2012, I saw my first Classical Revolution at Balliceaux.

I know that because one of the benefits of keeping a blog like this is being able to see where I was on any given day, assuming I blogged that day and presuming I chose to share everything I did, which no one should be surprised to learn I don't always do.

It's not just that casual revelations can backfire on me (but, oh, man, can they...), but that there's plenty that should only be shared face to face. A long-time reader recently summed it up nicely.

"All I know is the blog and that continually revolving story of events that you churn out day after day, something new, something old, hit replay or reset...offering yourself to the world (or what you want us to see)."

That's all you can know unless I want you to know more. Fair, no?

So when Beckham and the Beauty met up with me tonight for Classical Revolution's cleverly-titled "Haydn Where You Least Expect It," it was for a performance celebrating the series' fifth anniversary. That's part of the wonder of Richmond: start doing something interesting and it's bound to take off and with tending, last.

And why not celebrate at everyone's favorite lesbian bar, Babes of Carytown? Sure, I 've been there before - for the Mozart Festival, for book readings - but neither Beckham nor Beauty had ever set foot inside. In fact, it was funny, Beckham remembered it as having quite the fearsome reputation for a young male whippersnapper back when he was in high school.

Now it's just another cozy bar for Classical Revolution to share their message of bringing classical music to the kind of places popular music is so easily found.

The three of us weren't shy about claiming front row seats - Beauty immediately insisting on a "Karen sandwich" with me between them for sharing - with terrific views of two violinists, a viola and a cello player for tonight's performance of Haydn's "Emperor Quartet in C Major." Turns out it was so-called because the melody of the second movement went on to become both Austria and Germany's national anthem.

According to violinist Ellen, that came about because Haydn visited England, where he first heard "God Save the Queen," and thought to himself (her words, not mine), "Hey, we need one of those!" Further proof that musical history can be humorous and informative.

Explaining each movement before it was played went a long way toward helping the more musically-challenged among us (*raises hand) understand the nuances of the beautiful piece of music we were hearing, although as Beauty put it, "Sometimes it's nice to just lose yourself in the music and not even listen for what's going on."

Amen to that, especially on a dark, rainy night and especially after getting a chance to catch up with friends beforehand. After months of relentless studying, Beauty made me laugh rhapsodizing about the pleasures of vacuuming and her cooking faux pas at the cabin in Buckingham County.

I needed to hear that story about Beckham's cousin burning half his beard and all his eyebrows off lighting a fire with gasoline. Who hasn't made some poor choices while drinking whiskey and lighting fires? Hmm, I point out that last time I saw those two together, it involved alcohol and flames and Beckham looks mildly sheepish.

Of course that's not all we talked about - big knuckles and blood diamonds, the shawarma with preserved lemon I'd had earlier, hormones - but probably enough to share now.

"Really, in essence, what else is a writer to do? Besides, you're a blast because, to a great extent, your work is you. You make a connection. Your humanity comes shining through your endeavors. Every writer wants to be read, to be liked in some form or fashion. You're no exception. What's a poor girl to do but keep moving on?"

I'm just going to assume that's a rhetorical question and hit reset. Seems that's what I do.

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