Today’s weekly broadcast of past performances at the Hollywood Bowl focused on music “American and the Americas.” I like the idea of showcasing music from all of the Americas, but today’s presentation was not my cup of tea. They started with Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. The sentiment behind this is noble, but I’m not a fan of using music as a soundtrack to the spoken word–even in Vin Scully was speaking the words like he was today. Then the program presented an orchestral flamenco dance by a Venezuelan composer, and it was followed by the music of Carlos Vives and Café Tacuba. The last two are popular music that can be fun to listen to, but it always seems less than genuine when they pair it with an orchestra. The conductor talks about how excited they are about the musical collaboration between the two, but to me, it all sounds like a thinly veiled pandering to the lowest common denominator.
With that said, I am eagerly awaiting my return to in-person concerts next week. I considered not opening the bottle of Chardonnay I planned for the televised program tonight and instead save it for the concert next week, but I ended up opening. It is an exquisite chardonnay, but nothing fancy, and I will write more about it tomorrow. For next week’s concert, I will be taking a bottle of wine I have been saving for nearly eight years, waiting for a special occasion. I believe returning to in-person concerts after the pandemic shutdown counts as a special occasion.