Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Little Liszt

I have no idea who the hot redhead in the above picture is, but given the dog he has in his lap, it's a safe bet that he's an eager and skilled bottom. I mostly posted his picture because it seemed à propos, given the nature of today's entry.

Last night, b&c and I traveled into DC to see the National Symphony Orchestra. The journey itself was not without eye rolling. The Kennedy Center had sent out an email during the week saying that, given the large number of events occurring simultaneously on Saturday nights, patrons would be well advised to arrive earlier than usual. This meant, naturally, that b&c wanted to leave at 6:30 for an 8:00 curtain. I just stared at him and said, "It's 6:30" and he got that exasperated look he gets when people don't immediately see the superior logic of his position and told me that he had just finished telling me that the KC had suggested arriving early in order to park. I bit back all of my replies: that the email had likely been intended for people who normally don't arrive early, rather than for people like us (i.e., him) who typically arrive before the velvet barriers come down; that since we don't use the KC's parking, we could probably afford not to worry quite so much about it; that he never seemed to show anything like the same concern for time when we were headed to a movie I wanted to see, even though we had reserved seats for the symphony and not for the movies. Instead, I sighed, and said, "Fine" and told YFU that we were leaving and would be back around 11. Then I promptly fell asleep in the car and woke up only when we arrived at the parking lot. At 7:15. At least I had plenty of time to read the program.

The concert last night started with Rouse's 2nd Symphony (very dramatic, very fun) and ended with the Ravel orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, which was beautifully played. In between, the headliner was Jean-Yves Thibaudet, as the soloist in a Liszt piano concerto. It didn't do all that much for me, alas, but I don't know whether to blame Liszt or Jean-Yves for that. B&c had told me before hand that a friend of his had once run into (not literally, one presumes, but who am I to judge?) M. Thibaudet at a Berlin bathhouse, so if you happened to be at the Crew Club earlier this week and got a blow job by a guy with strong hands and a great sense of rhythm, then it might have been him, particularly if the guy on his knees had blond highlights that he was really too old to pull off.

It's not easy to find a current picture of M. Thibaudet, but here's the one from the most recent MetroWeekly (he's been out forever, apparently). Note the very soft focus:

It's perhaps not surprising that he chooses not to be photographed in closeup. I kept thinking that Jean-Yves looked very familiar, and I was sure that I'd never seen him in person before. It finally occurred to me that his features were a perfect blending of



And, really, if you were setting out to make the Platonic ideal of a concert pianist, wouldn't you immediately think to mix equal parts of Barry Manilow, John Inman, and Frank Perdue? I know I would. Of course, two of the three are dead, but it's nice to know that they live on and play two hundred concerts a year. Here's the best picture I could find. I assume the red eye is an artifact of flash photography rather than evidence of demonic possession, but one never knows, do one?

Oddly enough, it's devilishly difficult to find pictures of nude men at or on a piano. Finding a nude woman on the piano (or at least a picture of same) is easy, but who wants to see that. But I hate to leave you without it, so here is a picture of a piano, followed by some pictures of nude men. Toss them together in your imagination, and you're there.

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