"So, said my friend and co-worker, Regina, when she stopped by at my office the other day, "how did your child enjoy the concert?"
(A single middle-aged lady with no kids of her own, Regina is much in the habit of referring to anyone below 21 indefinitely, as “child”).
Because there recently have been several events that Troy and I attended that could easily pass for a“concert”, I made sure to double check:
“ The Perlman one, of course!”
Right, I shouldn’t have asked - I should have known. My friend is one of those Jewish music lovers, for whom music becomes all the more special once it is performed by a Jewish musician.
That January evening, the audience of the Meyerhoff looked like an all-synagogues’ reunion: all Jewish Baltimore was there to listen to the great maestro. In fact, the only no-show that night was the snow and mind you, I am talking about the snow outside. Inside, however, thanks to the joint effort of the fabulous BSO, the star violinist/conductor, Itzhak Perlman, and most importantly the magical music, we got carried away to Vivaldi’s Venice where the snow did fall with all its might in one of his most enchanting pieces known to man as “ The Winter”.
The history of classical music has seen many composers who made music despite their physical disabilities. This evening just proved one more time that all a musician really needs to make music is a heart filled with music. Even though Perlman walked on stage on crutches, once he picked up his violin, all that mattered was the fierce and wonderfully abundant music he was playing.
“How come I did not see you, Regina?” I asked “ Where were you sitting?”
“Three rows above you, dear, but you seemed so preoccupied with your child that I realized I wouldn’t get noticed unless I tossed something at you, and you know you can’t do those things in concert halls.”
You had to give Regina an extra credit: besides being highly educated, well-read and super-practical, she is also very funny.
"But your child listened very well!”she added. And certainly observant.
Troy enjoyed it with all his heart. Every time there was an ovation, he clapped his hands and screamed "Bravo!" He was super attentive not only because he loves music, but also because he loves both Vivaldi’s Winter and Summer, which he knows from H. Karajan's wonderful DVD. When a young listener already knows the music he is about to listen to, he takes it in with triple attention.
And of course, you know me – it is never about the quantity - but always about the quality. Therefore, we only stayed until the end of Part 1 of the concert and left during the intermission, not having embraced music by the great Brahm in Part 2. But you know what – life is long: God’s willing, there will be plenty of chances to do that.
The goal of every parent who is trying to educate their kid musically is not to make the kid tired of music. As we were getting into the car, Troy said: “Mama, are we coming to this theater again? Let’s go again!”, and to me, as a parent, that meant just two words “mission accomplished”.
Lastly, as a little musical gift, take a listen of this incredible look of the young Itsak Perlman on Vivaldi's Winter. Viva la musica!