Thursday, September 3, 2009

If the Schubert fits

I have been dreading and hoping for last weekend with all the assiduity, misplaced confidence and suppressed lust of a nerd on a prom date with a bi-polar cheerleader. It was the weekend of the annual chamber concert at the winery. The group had been practicing since October of last year working on the first three movements of the Schubert Octet in F and more recently some Rossini quartets. The logistics of managing rehearsals with eight people's schedules for the past ten months had been a nightmare; scheduling around boy scout meetings, bee stings, 4H clubs, PTA meetings, college visits by the younger players. Consequently it wasn't until two weeks before the concert that we actually had all eight players sitting in the same room at the same time. We were already awash in doubt about the wisdom of our plans. A performance at the annual chamber music concert at Morrison Hall and SUNY in May had not come off. The weekend it was scheduled for at the winery, tropical storm Danny was threatening pouring rain. I personally had two other events that weekend and no prospect of help from either of my two daughters who were attending a wedding in Putnam County. We were facing a looming soggy debacle with over $1,000 already spent on advertising, tent rentals and food.

Then Danny stalled off the Carolinas, (distracted by the sunbathers on Myrtle Beach), my sister's ambivalent agreement to donate her weekend turned into a firm commitment to show up and help, my neighbor, despite the fact it was her birthday, agreed to handle the tasting room duties. By mid morning on Saturday I was drenched from standing glumly all morning at the Cold Spring farmer's market where I had had a tiff with the market manager about where I could park the truck. Then the rain stopped. I drove the fifteen miles back to the winery, my hopes inflated by the series of fortuitous events (not counting the tiff and the drenching), I pulled into the driveway hoping to see the parking lot teeming with a throng of classical music lovers and cheerleaders (goooo Schubert!),-- alas, there was neither,no one there except Mai, the second violinist and Stan the bass player. It was 2:30 PM. Dismal. The concert was scheduled to start at 3:00 Then, a few minutes later the musicians began pulling up, one after the other, still the audience was composed mostly of people who had driven them to the event. Then a few other people begin trickling in. By 3:00 PM twenty of the twenty five audience chairs under the green and white tent were filled. I was ecstatic.
"Just hold off a few minutes to see if anyone else shows up." I asked Stan. He nodded.
"No problem."
Another car pulled up. A few minutes later the musicians launched into the spritely first movement of the Rossini.

Anyway, to sum up, it was a really nice event. The rain held off for the entire performance. My neighbor handled the tasting room like a pro and my sister, who I had not talked for months, and who no doubt was beginning to suspect that I was something of a sullen loser, was gushing with admiration.

Well, this post really doesn't have much to do with wine per se. It is more about how people will surprise you given half a chance. Anyway, the next day I went to Woodstock. It was the day of the Bethel Wine Fest so, I didn't have time to reflect on the concert and how it had gone. Now, some four days later I can sit down and think about it a little and start dreaming about and dreading next year, but it is an optimistic dread. Maybe the cheerleader will take pity on me.
Maybe I won't stab her with the corsage pin by mistake. Maybe she'll finally get some meds for that bi-polar thing. You never know!

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