Monday, December 3, 2012

Sol's Cello Solo

I was giddy with anticipation to hear wunderkind Sol Gabetta perform magic with a cello in her debut performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Saturday night. This Argentinian-born 31-year-old of French and Russian descent, who now makes her home in Switzerland, accompanied the BSO under the animated baton of Zurich-born guest conductor, Mario Venzago, in a lively interpretation of Franz Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz, in which the devil plays a wild and wooly diddy at a staid country inn while Faust woos the innkeeper’s daughter into the forest for a romantic tryst. Following the waltz, Ms. Gabetta shredded her bow strings with Sir Edward Elgar’s dark-toned Cello Concerto in E minor, bringing the enthusiastic audience to their feet in thunderous applause. After pruning her bow, Ms. Gabetta, resplendent in a green satin gown, wowed listeners with a solo of vibrating notes which evoked insects buzzing about, working her bow and strings as if no more exercise than that was needed to keep her shapely, toned arms in such splendid condition.

Sol Gabetta and her cello
Having read recently that droopy, harem-style trousers are enjoying resurgent popularity on the runways lately, I did my part for concert couture by donning a pair in a lovely silk brocade by medieval fashion designer Moresca, which I found in a rustic boutique at a Renaissance Festival many years ago. I paired the black Sufi pants with a simple sequined tank top by Elements from The Limited Too, and covered up with a sheer black waist-tied wrap I bought in a tiny northern California formalwear shop called Gantos in the 1970s. With a silver and gold-toned choker tied around my neck from Tina’s Antiques & Jewelry, a quirky little shop at 237 Main Street in Reisterstown, Maryland (410-833-9337), a gold-toned bracelet-watch from Chico’s and some fabulous rhinestone earrings I found in my stocking last Christmas, I added only a black-beaded fashion ring and my sky-high, patent platform pumps by Call It Spring for JCPenney before making my way to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in downtown Baltimore.

A post-symphonic dinner with my date at the Wine Market bistro ( in the Locust Point section of Baltimore proved an excellent gastronomic choice, where Ashley, our exceedingly pleasant and knowledgeable server, provided spot-on service.  Satiated by dry-aged steak, persimmon "carpaccio" and a slice of fabulous apple pie, I later drifted off to sleep with Liszt’s melodic "Dance in The Village Inn" wafting across my memory, images of Faust’s frolic in the woods bringing a smile to my face as my eyelids fluttered closed.

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