Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My midnight talk with Cousin Liz

Lastnight I was up till after midnight talking with Leonard Pennario's cousin Liz. Liz and I are comfortable with each other so it is just yak, yak, yak, both of us. Pennario loved her and used to take her everywhere so she has a lot of stories to tell.

She was telling me about how she would go over to Leonard's mom's house to help her cook when Jascha Heifetz and Gregor Piatigorsky were coming over for lunch. Pennario made his family home his home base for years because he was on the road almost all the time anyway. And when Heifetz and Piatigorsky came over to rehearse, they would have lunch with the family beforehand.

I love how Heifetz and Piatigorsky not only sought Pennario out as their pianist, but they came to him. Also knowing Leonard's sense of humor I am sure he did not pass up the opportunity to ask his mom: "Can Heifetz and Piatigorsky come over to play?" Liz says they liked to eat and were easy to please.

I like to eat, too. Today I have to go back to Body Sculpt with my sedentary self, no ifs, ands or buts.

Buts reminds me of butts, which reminds me of something else Liz told me about lastnight. She said that when she was a kid -- she is 20 years younger than Leonard -- Pennario was doing some teaching. He had a few students for a little while. He did very little teaching. He was not a teacher person. But he was teaching then.

And he asked her if she wanted to learn. And she said no!

"Whenever I think about that I kick my rear," she said.

Ahahahahahaha! I would, too!

OK, off to work, then off to Body Sculpt. Is anyone else wishing it would snow? If it would snow, first of all I could cross country ski. That usually blasts off a few pounds. Second of all I could walk places, you know? When it's in the 40s and raining, you can't go anywhere. Hence my absence from the gym.

I remember that from when I was a kid, that frustration you would feel when it wouldn't get cold and it wouldn't snow. Oh, well.

Do watch that Piatigorsky link. That is Piatigorsky in the photo above, from Life magazine. He looks so dapper with the cigarette, but if I remember correctly, he died of lung cancer. Pennario said Piatigorsky would not stop smoking.

So sad. What a charmer that cellist was!

Liz said so, and now we can see for ourselves.


Howard Goldman said...

You'll be walking in the snow alright - if you don't go get those snow tires installed that I placed in your trunk!!!

That picture is the closest thing to 3D that I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Love the Piatagorsky link. He shows up in a small book I own of interviews with Michael Tilson Thomas. When Thomas was starting out he knew and worked with Piatagorsky. Thomas was outraged (his word) at being assigned the Rachmaninoff cello sonata and he balked. He said "I'm going to specialize in Bach and Schoenberg." Piatagorsky told him "You're too talented to be a specialist. You have to play everything. Go learn!" I like this story. Wise words.