One of the best parts of at least some trips is the planning — finding and scheduling the cultural events you are going to see. There is, of course, more to see than performances, but if performances are on your to-do list, finding something new to you — no matter how well-known it may be to others — is a great treat.
In the year 3 B.C. (Before CoVid), my wife and I visited Barcelona. I won’t regale you with the city’s virtues. They are well-known and easily researched. I just want to tell you about one concert we attended. In looking through the “What’s On” websites before our trip, I found that four guitarists who bill themselves as Maestros de la Guitarra would be performing in the Music Palace during our visit. I wanted to see the Music Palace for reasons that the picture above should make obvious. It really is a stupendous bit of work.
But what about these guitarists? In the Youtube! era, everything can be previewed. I found this, which I really, really urge you to watch/hear:
The piece is fun to watch, not only for the music, but for the interplay among the performers, who enact a sort of seduction play, the denouement of which you’ll have to watch the video to learn. I loved the performance and so bought tickets to the show.
The trip came off as scheduled, and the Mrs. and I went to the Music Palace on the appointed night. The building did not disappoint. (Has it ever disappointed anyone?) But the performance? I looked at the program and to my utter and complete dismay, there was a bunch of stuff I had never heard of and no Bolero. Now, you have to understand: My wife was a corporate executive who likes to manage by exception. Accordingly I am the travel planner, which is to say that, for the most part, I propose and She disposes. (It works for us.) I have, however, subject to guidelines, been granted authority to pick performing arts stuff, earning such credit and opprobrium as might be warranted in hindsight. And here we were in this…