BECAUSE IT’S BEETHOVEN THAT’S WHY
I just came back from taking Lucy to the New York Philharmonic where we heard half an evening of Beethoven. It was never my intent to take her, but somehow I had forgotten my tickets were for tonight. My usual suspects aka men other than my husband who will go with me were all otherwise engaged. Last night at dinner it dawned on me that tonight was the second to the last in my series and I had no one to go with. So I turned to Lucy and said “I’ll take you.” Now you can only imagine how thrilled she was by this invitation, offer, demand. She looked at me like I had suggested we make her next birthday cake out of brussel sprouts or that we were only going to dress like the Amish from now on.
“Why do I have to go?” She had a point. And I didn’t really have an answer. Because Mommy forgot it was this week is a bad response. Because daddy refuses to go to concerts is not good, as it sets up a family habit of refusing to listen to classical music. Because I have no one else makes it sound like she is the third for fourth or the only choice; which in this case I don’t think she would have minded. But that still didn’t work for me. So I used the gold standard, the one you can’t argue with ~ “Because it’s Beethoven that’s why.” Once I said it it was hard to back up. Why does she have to start her musical education with heavy, dour looking, deaf Beethoven? The man who glares down from every image with a look that says, shouldn’t you being doing something better with your time, like composing music that will be played for centuries after your death? Aren’t there better ways to spend your time than watching The Real Housewives of Bonn. OK, they didn’t have The Real Housewives of Bonn, but you know if they had he would have said something like that. He just looks like that kind of guy.
I could have started her with Brahms or Tchaikovsky, something lighter and more accessible. I could have had that been tonight’s program.
But I happen to like Beethoven and I thought Lucy should/could like him too. Let’s face it when the history of the world is written who will have a bigger place Joe Jonas or Beethoven?
So she gave in. Not until I promised to take her to Abercrombie and buy her some cutoffs this weekend. Which if you have never been there, can literally cause you to lose your hearing much like you know who….
When she got home from school she was coughing, wasn’t sure if that was the beginnings of an attempt to try and get out of it. But no, at six she was dressed and ready to head out.
As we walked into Avery Fisher Hall, in an attempt to to build up some excitement I said, “This is your first concert!” without missing a beat – “No, Lady Gaga and I bet that was a lot more fun.” No argument there. Pure fun – The Monster Ball Tour or Symphony No. 8 and Barber: Cello Concerto?
She was quite good for the first portion, she actually seemed to be enjoying it, but when cellist Alisa Weilerstein came on I knew we were in for it. I have actually never seen anyone respond to music quite the way Ms. Weilerstin does. She is a great cellist but she does go to this place where she is carried off to another world. She actually looks a bit mad and like she is having sex at the same time. I mean she just does. And trust me nothing gets past Lucy. At one point, Lucy whispered “I think she might have Tourettes” and then proceeded to stifle endless giggles.
OK, we left at intermission. I promised her I would do that too, if she was really bored. But all in all she was very good and a lovely companion.
As we were walking home down Broadway she asked me why the girl on the cello looked like she was having sex? This was so not the question I was expecting after her first night at the symphony. And how does she know that to begin with? Thank you Sara Jessica Parker.
I told her some people have very powerful responses to music. She didn’t buy it. “Because it’s Beethoven that’s why?”