Does this all sound as if I‘ve had a lousy time at the Bowl so far? Maybe so, but not entirely. At the aforementioned Hall of Fame Gala there were pre-fireworks fireworks in a closing set by the indestructible Stevie Wonder. And in the first of the Wednesday-night jazz concerts -- another ”opening night,“ you might say -- I let myself be introduced to the extraordinary bass playing and band leadership of the Cuba-born, New York--based legendary Cachao, for some 90 minutes’ worth of pure, incendiary musical joy. On such occasions you know what the Bowl stands for in this city. Besides, next week they‘re doing the Beethoven Ninth.
Obiter dictum: For once there is good news from the ailing record industry. The Sony disc of music by Kaija Saariaho, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and with Dawn Upshaw and Gidon Kremer among the soloists, over which I waxed ecstatic some months ago (from the promotional pre-release disc), was then delayed due to copyright disputes concerning the printed text. Those matters have now been settled, and the disc is due in late August.