Symphony does city proud
Time for a tip of the hat to an an outstanding local group. The Carson City Symphony opened its 23rd season recently at the Community Center with a rich and varied program. The highlight was visiting violinist Carla Trynchuk and cellist Stephen Framil in Brahms’ “Double Concerto for Violin and Cello.” It was masterfully played with very able backing from the symphony, led by David Bugli, music director. The concert was repeated Tuesday night.
A nice touch was assistant conductor Eric Gault directing the “Carmen Suite No. 1” by Bizet. Most assistant conductors are lucky to get out of the rehearsal room, but Gault was a swooping and soaring conductor who knew his half-notes. Bugli helped out, manning the triangle during “Carmen.”
A nice mix of new and old, with Karel Husa’s “Divertimento for Brass and Percussion” offering the modern touch.
The city is lucky to have such a fine orchestra – mostly unpaid volunteers – and perhaps a larger turnout would be appropriate. The center was about one-third filled.
BREWERY GOES SOUL
It’s turnback the clock time at the Brewery Arts Center on Nov. 3-4 when the “Classic Soul Extravaganza” rolls into town. Barbara Lewis of “Hello Stranger” fame joins Sly, Slick and Wicked (“Sho Nuff”) for the Performance Hall gig. Tickets are $25 in the balcony and $35 for preferred seating. Showtime is 7 p.m. both nights.
One of the extras that comes with taking a short vacation is opening new doors that normally one would never try. Talk radio was one that I discovered while driving the wilds of Utah. I never listen to talk radio (except for PBS’ noontime show) as it always seemed to be preaching to the choir, and while that opinion hasn’t changed, one broadcaster offered an intriguing note. He greeted each caller with “You’re a great American,” and usually had the same phrase returned. Obvious question: How did he know each caller was a “Great American?” Because they called his show, apparently. Hubris overrules logic.
Then there’s the question of 18-wheel semis on the road in a rainstorm. Passing them is an act of faith, as one is blinded by the hurricane spray the unfendered wheels create. How many accidents do these behemoths cause every year is not known, but the danger is there.
And while seated at a truck stop and grabbing breakfast, Fox television’s newscast offered a fascinating “news” segment, where a retired GOP Congressman was being interviewed by a female newsreader, who lobbed such questions as “How bad will it get if the Democrats win the House?” Naturally, the ex-lawmaker said it would get pretty bad, everything from acne for adults to the end of the nation as we know it.
I kept waiting for a contrary view of some kind, but none came.
Not to be missed are the evangelic broadcasters. You can get some pretty good music there, not much rock or jazz, but good old stuff recalling a Midwestern childhood. Came across one, however, whose whole programming was anti-abortion. No problem with preaching the message, but it seems odd for a station to base its entire programming on one issue.
And finally, home again to find a slew of messages on the answering machine. Every one who sent me a recorded political message at once lost my vote.
FROM THE VAULTS
Here’s an offbeat movie, “Dirty Pretty Things,” that has a lot to say about a lot of things, including illegal immigration Europe style. Okwe (Chjwetel Ejioforo) is working as a night porter in a posh London hotel. He finds a human heart plugging a hotel room toilet.
Turns out he is an illegal from Logos. He shares a flat with Senay (Audrey Tautou, of “Da Vinci Code” film fame), another illegal from Turkey. Directed by Stephen Frears, this is a laid back thriller – no car chases or mammoth explosions, just two people trying to find lives away from their homes.
A fine, taut film with fine performances from all involved. Rated R, released in 2002.