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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2007


The wrestling and the struggling with the music

Thomas's backside
Originally uploaded by marytsao
The four of us went to see the San Francisco Symphony yesterday, courtesy of Mike's mom, who got us tickets for a present. The concert was part of a Music for Families series and was titled "Wrestling with Love, Struggling with Demons: Two Russian Masterpieces." It featured Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. James Gaffigan conducted, and Lise de la Salle was the pianist for the Rachmaninoff piece.

The concert was spectacular. Our seats were 5th row, center, and it was a treat to be that close to the musicians and to be able to see them as they worked their magic. Lise de la Salle was amazing, performing the entire 35-minute Rachmaninoff concerto from memory. She's young, too, not even twenty. An amazing talent--I was so impressed.

The good seats were crucial to holding the kids's interest. Admittedly, they didn't do quite as well at this show as they did at Disney on Ice. Tchaikovsky's piece is well-known because it was used as the music to many old Looney Tunes cartoons, but it's not quite as hyperactively mesmerizing as the pop music of High School Musical. During the Rachmaninoff concerto, Mike had to pacify a restless Thomas by pulling the metaphorical rabbit out of the hat and whipping out his mp3 player that also plays videos. The Simpsons to the rescue! I thought that was a pretty smooth move.

Even though my kids got a tad bit restless towards the end, they definitely weren't the worst behaved in the audience. In fact, the most obnoxious audience member, in my opinion, was the woman sitting directly behind us who felt it necessary to whisper very important things about who knows what to her children during the entire concert. And I almost couldn't believe my eyes and ears when her son started loudly eating Cheetos. Eating Cheetos! At the symphony! The kid was at least eight years old; he should have known better, even if his mom was clueless. Mike said the dad looked "checked out," had obviously realized he had made a horrible mistake marrying this woman, and was just hanging out, waiting for death to put him out of his domestic misery.

That Mike! What a jokester.

But hey, when you go to a family friendly concert, you have to put up with some families and all of the whining, whispering, fidgeting, and Cheeto eating that goes along with them. All I know is that I'm happy that my husband is still checked in and that he remembered his portable video player. Not to mention the fact that the music was wonderful. Going to see the San Francisco Symphony was very much a treat and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Thanks, Jewel.