Friday, April 4, 2008

Ah, the Baroque

We’ve had a very culture-happy week around here. On Wednesday we went to the symphony and on Thursday night you would have found us at the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. PBO is one of the great joys of living in San Francisco, they focus on early music performed on period instruments. We had been subscribing to their seasons for the last couple of years and decided this year to try the symphony instead. Who knows why, the symphony here is well regarded and we thought it would be interesting. Instead, it was just sort of dull. The symphony is very solemn performances of mostly romantic composers, all very Mahler-esque and Brahmsian sweetness. Yawn.

PBO is a much more quirky affair, with weird instruments you’re not quite sure of (Sackbutts! Yay! Theoboros! All right!) and it’s in a amuch smaller, more charming hall. Unlike the sweet tinkling of the symphony, PBO is, in the words of our friend Anne, “screechy scratchy” and we love it. The audience, too, is more…uhm, individualistic. They all seem like elderly hippies taking a break from some right-on kind of consciousness raising to groove on Handel oratorios for a while. All the gay men there are futzy old Marys who wear big brooches pinning their shirt collar closed and huge ass rings on their index finger. Sort of a down market Karl Lagerfeld. I’m taking close notes for when I adopt their style for my own.

Anyway, we’re planning on abandoning our fling into symphony land to return to our people in the Baroque. Handel and Bach, open you golden gate, I’m coming home.


  1. Early music RULES!!!

    Good for you guys! And how wonderful that, even at your advanced age, you can still find role models.

  2. I too prefer the Baroque period!

    And of course my favorite joke:

    Is it Baroque?


    Did you ba-reak it?

    Oh, the fun we have! ;)


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