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Saturday, February 24, 2007


I attended the DSO concert last night with my sister-in-law, Laurie. All I had told her about it in advance was that the soloist would be playing saxophone–or so she claims. My nieces and nephews all declined to come for various reasons, so Laurie came with me.

Symphony Hall, unusually for a concert on a cold night in February, was packed. Branford Marsalis was playing, his first appearance there in 13 years (when I'd seen him last). It turns out she is a huge fan of his, as he often appears on the Mitch Albom radio program, which she listens to.

It was a brilliant show. His playing was superb, and the Brazeal Dennard Chorale was great (as usual). Afterwards, I wanted to buy his most recent classical CD; the music shop directed me to the Atrium, where I could buy a CD and have it signed by the artist.

There was a time when classical artists, at least the well known ones, rarely met with the hoi polloi and signed autographs. Times have changed and, the last few years, more and more of them do. The CD market is shrinking, especially in the classical field, and they've come to appreciate the need to build popular support.

It's also a good fund-raiser for the DSO (at $22 per disc).

So I bought a disc and Laurie and I got in line, which wasn't that long. When we got to the front, I chatted with Branford, who was very sweet and friendly, an absolute non-diva. Laurie decided to get a photo of th etwo of us with her camera, and he popped out to pose with me. Only, she couldn't get the camera to work. After fiddling with it for a few minutes, we got out of the way (we were holding up the line), and Branford laughed and went back to signing CDs and programs.

One of the DSO staff and Laurie struggled with her camera, finally figuring out where the lens was, and that her kids had turned it around to take self portraits. Branford then came out from behind the table, posed with us again, and we shook hands and thanked him profusely (while apologizing).

I just wanted to note how gracious he was; not at all as I've come to expect "stars" to behave.

And, FYI, the album was brilliant. I've been listening to it in the car since Friday. Lovely melodies, and such smooth sax playing that you'd think it was a clarinet. Ravel's Pavane is very nice, and Ibert's Concertino da Camera very lush and lively.


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