Argh. The Alexander String Quartet concert was pretty bad yesterday. (I went to the concert with Vienna). I had heard before that they were very good, and... well, they *must* have been better in the past to have the resume they have. Their performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet was like a lack-luster student performance, or maybe a semi-polished read-through. (I'm trying to write this as the NE Patriots score their third touchdown. Amabelle is going crazy. :) They sounded like they didn't know the piece at all. I could see Geoff and Livia in the audience from where I was sitting, and it was easy to see their clear disapproval as well. They have even higher standards than I do (better ears and stuff), so it must have been really painful for them. Anyway, the second half was better, but it was still hard to enjoy it after what they had forced the audience to sit through during the first half. It's a good thing the lecture was both entertaining and informative. :) I also thought Stevie played as well as he could have played, given the circumstances.
Performances like this are only so disappointing because of expectation. I expect a professional-caliber performance when I have paid money to hear a professional group play. Tickets for events like this are $20-$50 (and up), so it's not like going to a movie or something. The quartet should have been considerably better, even on their worst day. When an amateur group plays (you know, like the groups I usually play in. :), it's easier to enjoy the performance, even though it's probably not going to be technically perfect.
When I got home, Jen and Art were rehearsing at my place. I had met Art briefly before at a Japantown peace gathering, but I don't remember it very well, so it was nice to get to meet him again (in good lighting. :).
What am I going to do with music? I can feel myself getting more and more rusty. Part of the problem is that there is nothing consistent to work towards anymore. The occasional recital isn't quite enough to keep me in good shape.