Self and The Man were at Davies this evening. It was fantastic! A performance of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, with beauteous Canadian soprano Erin Wall, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, conducted by Charles Dutoit. After intermission, a performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum, with guest appearance by the Pacific Boys Choir. Self had never heard either of these pieces before. Their effect on self was quite electric. She kept her eyes closed as much as she could, to concentrate on the music. Towards the end of the Te Deum, she actually felt tears at the corners of her eyes. But, mindful that The Man was staring at her with a look of utter amazement, she steeled the tears not to fall.
Did dear blog readers know that Poulenc was noted for being the most “cheerful” of all composers? And he was apparently well-off: He had an apartment overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg (which self had occasion to ramble in, just this past July, dear blog readers!), and a castle in the Loire. In the late 1930s (Poulenc was born in 1899), a good friend having been killed in a horrific automobile accident, he began to meditate on death and mortality and, in his castle in the Loire, wrote pieces like The Litanies of the Black Virgin. His Stabat Mater is a very uplifting work. Self particularly loved the passage (So handy that the text was in the program):
Holy mother, do this for me:
imprint the wounds of your crucified son
deeply in my heart.
During the intermission, self had to run to the powder room, and The Man said he would meet her at the Symphony Shop. Self had little tremors of premonition at the mention of “Symphony Shop.” She expressly told herself she would spend nothing at the Symphony Shop this evening. But since she was meeting The Man there, she couldn’t very well NOT shop. And she ended up spending about $40 (If you must know, the man spent $7. She tried to get him to spring for her $40, but he was quite adamant that he was “broke” and all his credit cards were maxed out. So of course self ended up feeling sorry for him. It’s a wonder she let him pay for his $7 item instead of offering to include it with hers!)
One of the things self sprang for (on a rack right next to the cash register, wouldn’t you know) was a tiny book called:
POCKET CHINESE ALMANAC 2013
Self knows it is all just superstition, but as soon as she got home, she turned to the prognostication for today, the 9th of February. Lo and behold it is a good day for “rituals, asking for blessings . . . meeting friends, going out, weddings, tailoring, starting a business . . . “
Starting a business! An anxious glance at the clock: 11:52 p.m. A little late to be thinking of what business she can start, there’s only eight minutes of Feb. 9 to go!
Self turns to the prognostication for Feb. 10:
BAD for the maiden voyage of a boat, hairdressing, manicure/pedicure, hunting, fishing, or starting new jobs.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.