Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ice Station NoVA

I don't have a lot of commentary to add, especially on the non-musical side, except to complain self-centeredly about being scoured by stiff dry winds within the same mass of Arctic air that's engulfed everybody else within hundreds of miles; to note the partial, self-contained pleasure in spite of that of emerging from a Metro stop into a fine and dessicated snow; and to note without further speculation that the area in front of the South Lobby entrance to the Watergate has smelled unaccountably like donuts for four consecutive days as I've walked past it to the Kennedy Center, with no nearby donut vendor that I can see.

I'll continue to burn out myself and everybody else on concert descriptions once the Emerson Quartet finishes its survey of the first half of Shostakovich's string quartet output. The image up top a low-res scan from this evening's program with the kind of scribbled notes I come away with if I'm excited enough to want to reconstitute my immediate impressions later. (Click on it for the big version.) They tend to end up as visual artifacts as opposed to something readable for any practical purpose.

The one-sentence version is that this is one of the two or three best-performed concerts I've ever heard and one among maybe six or seven shows that I've found as emotionally affecting. It drives home the value of the early agricultural techniques developed tens of thousands of years ago that ultimately allowed for this absurd level of non-food-producing behavioral specialization.


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