Richard Dowling, in the boondocks

The kids and I went to see Richard Dowling perform at a local church today (Saturday). He's in town to play in the inaugural concert of the Norman Philharmonic and decided to squeeze in a small performance before that.

I noticed that he was playing without the benefit of any sheet music and pointed this out to S1. The ten-year-old who is going on thirty was not impressed. "It is a very simple pattern," he told me and pointed out the pattern, "so it's very easy to play from memory."

It wasn't until Dowling moved on some orchestral Chopin pieces rearranged for the piano (so that the original orchestral pieces needed to played by the pianist) that S1's eyes widened and his mouth fell open. He ended up being completely enthralled.

I'm tone-deaf, so you shouldn't take musical suggestions from me, but Richard Dowling is very good. It's not just that he played a 2 hour concert from memory. It was also the sheer exuberance of the concert. It's when we get world-class people passing through that I miss the energy and opportunities of a big city.

YouTube has a few videos of him. Here he is playing a ragtime classic:
and here he is playing a more traditionally classical piece:
Both these songs were part of the concert today, and as with any live performance, the recordings do not do them justice

He said he was going to be playing a Gershwin piece Sunday at the Nancy O'Brien auditorium.  S1 will be part of the choir in that program, singing a composition by Libby Larsen.

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