ChoseiSunday morning we saw the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. It was brilliant. Chosei Komatsu is our conductor, very accomplished as you will see from his website. And very cute which I personally find enhances my enjoyment of, well, almost anything.

The program started with Noches en los Jardines de Espa├▒a [Nights in the Spanish Garden] by Manual de Falla. Which we missed because we were seconds late and they would not let us in. They told us it would be too disturbing. They make no apologies. It is, after all, a fact. I LOVE this. I HATE when they let theatregoers into a show late, so they can bump and stamp and whisper "Excuse me. I think you are in my seat. Aren’t you supposed to be in the mezzanine?"

Or worse, if I’m IN the show and someone misses one of my lines that are invariably central to the plot. That is just so rude. I’m sure Chosei (we are on a first name basis) feels the same way.

The second piece was Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major by Franz Liszt. The pianist was Jacques Sagot… ohmygod. He was amazing, the music was amazing, Chosei was amazing. Audiences in Costa Rica let you know they can spot amazing: they applaud and applaud and applaud. Very appreciative audience. I love that, too.

Intermission, however, was like intermissions worldwide: overpriced coffee, water and cake. Happily, in a most magnificent setting.

The second half was An Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss. Smashing! Actually a symphonic poem, it is one continuous work depicting a full-day’s journey on a mountain in the Bavarian Alps. Following along – the program is all in Spanish of course – was both exciting and challenging. The music was again brilliant, a couple of falters it seems to this untrained ear… but a magnificent morning all told. And all for only $42 (without cake)!Teatro_nacional

To round out a completely cultural day, last night, we watched our new Nashville dvd, Robert Altman’s delicious farce about, um, Nashville and the country music scene. A topic near and dear to my heart which Hal and the boys totally didn’t get. It is a brilliant tour-de-force, in my opinion. Watching Lily Tomlin’s face as she’s watching Keith Carradine sing I’m Easy warrants watching again and again. And watching her leave his hotel room… priceless.

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