Recent Events and Takes (14 cents)

1.  Having been to such a good Saturday lecture on Turkey a month or so ago, we were very disappointed in the slapdash quality of the lecture on the Bosphorus last night.  We left at intermission.

2.  I stopped by the current exhibit, “Blue”, at the Textile Museum, and must say I was disappointed with it as well.  I am not sure that three pairs of Levi’s hanging behind glass on a wall to show how little they have changed since 1849 is that revelatory.  It is nice to know that there are fabrics of various types, old and  new, which have heavy doses of blue in them, but didn’t I already know that?  And if blue is their only common denominator, does that make for an exhibition?  I did enjoy looking at the few old South American and Egyptian fabrics, but that had nothing to do with blue; I would have enjoyed them if they were red and yellow only.  And, although there were references to the various types of dyes used, I couldn’t decide if there was too little or too much information.  I did not think, in any event, that it was “just right”.  Next to the Egyptian fragment (I believe it was), there was a little note that referenced the blue dye obtained from the murex snail.  I was interested in this, as this was the dye apparently used in the temple and still today used for some tallits.  It has always been very rare, and very expensive.  I am told today that the murex snails are being farmed, to make sure that murex-colored tallits will remain available.  I thought that this was a use of the murex dye that would be interesting to all, and I was sorry that there was no reference or example.

3.  On the other hand, the Tuesday concert at the Church of the Epiphany was most enjoyable.  It was a concert by the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra.  I did not know what to expect.  I have paid little attention to the Friday Morning Music Club, although they too have regular downtown noontime concerts (you can guess which day), which I understand to be mainly chamber music.  So I was quite surprised walking into the church and counting between 60 and 70 musicians in the orchestra.  Led by Pablo Saelzer, they played two “Hungarian” pieces with mystery and romance (Brahms’ Hungarian Dances 1, 3 and 10; and Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta) very well.  And in the middle, with an excellent horn solo by Amy Smith, they perfomred Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro Op. 70 for Horn and Orchestra, a piece with which I was not familiar.  Saelzer, the orchestra’s regular conductor is Chilean; Smith was a horn major at Indiana University and has a masters in performance from the University of Georgia.

4.  I have to congratulate the Nationals for winning 5 of their last 6.  After winning their first three games, they had a disastrous drop to 6-16.  They are now up to 11-17, only 1 1/2 games in last place in the division.

5.  Finally, five persnickety people had dinner at Clyde’s in Friendship Heights on Sunday (and that was just at my table), and all appeared quite satisfied with their food.

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