Monday, June 16, 2008
Another meeting of our Westside Music Group last night. Held in a very new and rather grand house out in the wilds of Pullenvale. Pullenvale is where people go for "acreage" (large) blocks of land. I had trouble finding it and went within a hairsbreadth of crashing my car at one stage. I was wise enough to go in the Echo rather than in the Humber, however, so that helped. The Echo is a lot better at U-turns and narrow roadways.
Our host was an Anglo-Australian but his wife was Indian (Sri-Lankan Sinhalese more precisely). That's quite an unusual combination. Little East-Asian ladies with burly Anglo-Australian men is quite a common combination but Indians seem quite endogamous. And it was the lady who is the musical one, apparently. They were both very pleasant and hospitable anyway.
The gathering was larger than usual but still mostly elderly. There was one lady who must have been somewhere in her 40's but who had kept a very good figure and was very attractively dressed. I wondered a little about that but all was explained the minute I spoke to her: A clear South African accent. South African ladies are VERY particular about their appearance. She was a good pianist anyway. She is a music teacher and did a few duets (four-handed pieces) on the piano with one of her students. It was a very good sound.
Unsurprisingly, our violinist looked very Jewish. I don't know if he was but there is a look that is Jewish even if lots of Jews don't look like that! The number of blue-eyed Jews I know (two of whom were present last night) tells me that Jews have long been less endogamous than their religion would seem to require. Perhaps it all goes back to the story of Ruth.
And we were honoured to have Brisbane's best-known violinist in the audience: Spiros Rantos. I was rather amazed that he was allowed to get away without playing, however. Even born-fiddlers need to listen sometimes, I guess.
And our main pianist was a little Chinese lady, though Australian-born, I think. She was very good. It was great to hear Mozart pouring out from those clever little Asian fingers. It is quite a wonder the way East Asians have taken to Western classical music. Most of the pianists at our concerts seem to be Chinese. Australia is lucky to have had so many high-quality Han immigrants (The Han are the majority race of China but they are also often found in other parts of Asia).