10. November 2010 · Comments Off on Wow · Categories: Reviews

When is a review not a review, I wonder?

Does this qualify?

Last Friday Carpenter made his way Upstate from his home in New York City for a concert at Ithaca College. Unfortunately, I had to do my own gig in the Big Apple that same day. Perhaps Carpenter and I passed each other on I-81 in the Poconos. I imagined him in a brilliant white Volkswagen Bug glittering with sequins racing through the still-brown hills, but there was nothing even close to that level of flash and dash on the interstate. Perhaps this revolutionary was transported to his destination in a sealed car.
While I’ve already admitted that I wasn’t even at the concert, I offer this virtual review of Carpenter’s Ithaca appearance, or better a report on its reception among a pair of music lovers dear to my heart: my two daughters, Elizabeth and Cecilia, ages ten and twelve respectively. They’d been taken to the concert by their mother, Annette Richards, the Cornell University organist. It is from children that the truth, musical or otherwise, is most likely to emerge. They’ve heard recitals and services by their parents on organs across North America and Europe, from the electronic travesty in the Christian Science church at the bottom of our street to the great Silberman organ from 1755 in the Catholic Cathedral in Dresden.
Call it a new genre: the review by hearsay.
On my return to Ithaca on Saturday I got home just as the kids were getting back from a walk with the dog. I asked them about the concert. They’d seen the YouTube clip a couple of times and from it had gained a sense of the Carpenter persona. So on the evening of the concert they were disappointed to see Carpenter greeting concertgoers at the entrance to the hall not in his trademark white body suit but in black t-shirt and jeans. But they liked the idea of meeting the virtual virtuoso beforehand in the flesh. Indeed, the disappointment at seeing him in somber black only made his eventual appearance on the stage a few minutes later in his concert rig all the more exciting.


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