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Dan Brown at La Scala

Marino Formenti plays Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus

MarinoFormenti * Tattling * 
Marino Formenti's recent performance at Los Angeles Philharmonic convinced me to get a ticket for his performance of Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus in Berkeley yesterday, although I neither like nor understand Messiaen. Unfortunately, it turned out that I had to return to Southern California on Saturday morning for personal reasons, but was able to goad someone into taking the ticket I had purchased. As it happened, I arrived back in Berkeley in plenty of time for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's holiday performance. In fact, I was so early I was able to to over to St. John's where Formenti was playing to meet up with some of my favorite bloggers at the recital. I had thought it was unlikely I could go into the hall, since there was probably no intermission.

I was surprised to be able to hear some of the music from outside of the building, and when I entered the lobby, the person selling tickets asked if she could help me. Seeing the sign that said there was no intermission, I remarked that the piece had gone on for an hour already, declined buying a ticket, and sat in the hallway to wait for my friends. From what I could tell, I was missing a great performance, Formenti's playing is so appealing. I could only hear the forte bits of the music, as I was sitting by a rather loud water heater.

I do not know how long I was there before the ticket seller came up to me and said something about it being unfair that I was listening to the music and had not paid for a ticket. This was completely discombobulating to me, and I found I really had no response. I had been listening to what was audible to me, and maybe I should have paid for half a ticket, as she suggested, for sitting in a hallway. I did say in no uncertain terms that I was not going into the hall, as I think that would have been unfair, to disrupt the performance whilst it was going on. The person was placated when I told her I was waiting for friends that were in the hall. However, perhaps she has a point, I did listen to snippets of Formenti playing Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, and to that end, I have made a nominal donation to San Francisco Performances. I also have a strong suspicion that I will not attend a performance presented by San Francisco Performances this season.

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