One of the things I miss the most from the days before the pandemic is the classical music performances I would routinely attend with my mom. On Wednesday of last week, I came across a program of past performances at the Hollywood Bowl. I immediately called my mom so she could tune in and also watch the concert. I got a little emotional as I watched footage from some of the performances we had attended. After the program ended, she called me to thank me, and I could tell from her voice that she, too, was moved.
Now that I knew that each Wednesday at 8 pm they would present LA Phil performances, we planned to watch this week’s show. Yesterday, the Hollywood Bowl performances were all new, and it was a somber difference from the footage from previous seasons. The musicians wore black jackets instead of their customary white dinner jackets. They were also wearing black masks, except for those playing wind instruments. It was a stark reminder that we’re still in the middle of this pandemic, but at the same time, it gave a glimmer of hope that despite our circumstances, we are finding a way to get back on our feet. It’s as if I were seeing the emergence of that faint first light of daybreak promising at long last an end to the long night.
My mom again called me after this week’s program ended. She thanked me and commented on a few of the pieces. I, in turn, had to ask what she thought about the fourth movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, or the Danzon No. 2 adaptation for piano that Yuya Wang played. To a certain degree, my mom and I were partaking in our usual ritual of talking about the performance we had just seen.