My mom Cathy isn’t exactly hip (as you’ve probably gathered by now). She actually likes classical music, although she feels a little behind the curve because she’s never played a musical instrument. Learning about music is one of Cathy’s Life Goals.
She signed up for yesterday’s concert because she wanted to hear violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Cathy had watched the moving documentary about Nadja’s life, Speaking in Strings. When she discovered Nadja was caring for an elderly tabby cat, not unlike the one who shares our household, she became a fan.
Cathy also loved Nadja’s sense of humor and she treasured the moment when a stranger asks the world-class soloist, “Do you play the fiddle? And can you play Orange Blossom Special?” Nadja answered politely, “With my eyes closed.”
So she knew she had to see the live performance.
My mom is still learning about music, so she listened to the pieces ahead of time. She loved the piece Nadja played (Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 for Violin).
But as we were going out for our walk afterward, she ran into James, one of our fellow tenants. James happens to be one of my biggest fans, so she had to stop and say hello. I heard her saying, “I loved the way this artist challenged the dress code of the female performer. She was wearing blue and white trousers – a bit odd, but she probably got them in New York – and a simple top. She stood athletically on the stage.”
“Yeah,” said Cathy’s neighbor James. “Not one of those prom dress things. Like she’s here to play music as a professional.”
“Right,” Cathy said, warming up to one of her favorite subjects. “These days women are flying combat missions. They’re cops and airline pilots. It’s ridiculous to have men in suits and women in those revealing gowns. Distracting.”
She stopped long enough to hear her neighbor’s account of his night at the ballet, which she had already seen. They agreed it was a beautiful production. Cathy doesn’t mind ballet costumes, although she thinks it’s ridiculous for female skaters to wear those ditzy outfits. She refuses to watch skating because, she says, they look ridiculous.
Luckily, the subject never came up.
Then (at last!) we headed out. After 4 hours in my crate, I needed this break.