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: DJ and D&D Go to the Symphony  ( 5365 )
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« #60 : January 15, 2018, 05:32:19 PM »

 O0 O0 O0

Great review!

Where were your seats?


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« #61 : January 16, 2018, 06:48:58 AM »

They were in the HH row--about 10 rows farther back than I would have liked. I was able to see the pianist well enough, but for the other players it was hard to see what they were up to. I had no trouble seeing what Fischer was doing, of course (except for the Beethoven, as I mentioned). The seats were almost in the center of the row, so we were well positioned as far as that goes. I can't complain about the price--thanks again, Drink, for arranging things. My date really enjoyed it and demonstrated her appreciation afterwards.



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« #62 : January 16, 2018, 08:32:03 AM »

How many rows from the stage is that?


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« #63 : January 16, 2018, 09:34:29 AM »

I think about 35.



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« #64 : January 31, 2018, 11:48:07 AM »

RE: our earlier discussion of the "flash mob" of the choir in the audience for the Budapest Festival Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's 9th at Lincoln Center:
I found on YouTube a performance of Beethoven's 9th in which the trumpeter for the Ode to Joy is in the audience. This is the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, conducted by Mariss Jansons at 51:14 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYbSNJDDAfk


I just watched the video again. The trumpeter is not exactly in the audience. Sort of.  In this hall, tehre are some seats behind the orchestra, facing the conductor. For this bit, the trumpeter was standing on the steps by those seats, behind teh rest of teh orchestra, among the audience in those seats, but not among the audience in the main part of the hall.

« : February 19, 2018, 05:23:51 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #65 : February 01, 2018, 12:51:28 AM »

Lincoln Center just released the calendar for the 2018-2019 season of the "Great Performers" series

http://www.lincolncenter.org/great-performers/subscribe?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=GP-1819-SeasonAnnouncement-Acq


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« #66 : February 18, 2018, 12:25:32 AM »

I was at Carnegie Hall Thursday night (first time).

Program page here https://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2018/02/15/ORCHESTRA-OF-ST-LUKES-0800PM

Mozart's 40th Symphony
A new musical piece composed by Bryce Dessner, for orchestra and mezzo soprano
And Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"

Featuring the New York-based Orchestra of St. Lukes, conducted by Robert Spano https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Spano

Standing outside the hall before the show, who did I see but Elliot Spitzer! Yes, the man who was attorney general of New York state, then elected governor, then had to resign in disgrace after being busted for hiring whores in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Particularly notorious because the whores reportedly said that during sex he wore his high black socks!  >:D He tried a political comeback a few years ago, running for New York City Comptroller, but lost in the Democratic primary. Recently, stories have emerged in the tabloids, he has been involved with some Russian call girl working in New York City, she accused him of attacking her, she went to a hospital, he showed up there in some costume thinking people wouldn't recognize him, she was then busted for trying to extort him, etc. etc. etc. Bottom line is that he has become a national punchline. And he was standing on the corner of 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan Thursday evening just before 8 pm, looking down at his phone, presumably waiting for his ... company? ... to show up. I was going to shout "fucking steamroller!" https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-newyork/ny-gov-spitzer-stands-by-steamroller-boast-idUSN3119261020070131 but my friend who I was with politely asked me not to, so for her sake, I didn't.

Our seats were on the floor, 17 rows back, just to the left of center – i.e., perfectly aligned with the pianist's hands. More on that later.

First up was Mozart's 40th Symphony. Everyone is familiar with the opening bars of this symphony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8bZ7vm4_6M it's a popular cellphone ringtone. This is one of Mozart's most famous symphonies. And in my opinion, it sucks. Opening movement is ok, maybe there is a bit of good in the second movement; third and fourth are shit. In short, it sucks. Happily, it is less than half an hour long. I had no interest in this piece.

Next up was a new piece of music composed by Bryce Dessner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryce_Dessner
The piece, called "Voy a dormir," is from four poems by the late Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfonsina_Storni

Each of this piece's four movements is one poem by Storni. Each of the four poems is sung by a mezzo-soprano, with orchestral backing. The mezzo-soprano is Kelly O'Connor http://kelleyoconnor.com/ – the piece was composed by Dessner specifically for her, and she helped select the four Storni poems that would comprise the piece. The title "Voy a dormir," ("I'm going to sleep") comes from her last poem. Storni had a very difficult life, and had breast cancer. In October 1938, she mailed the poem "Voy a dormir" to a newspaper, and shortly thereafter, her body was found washed up on the beach; she is believed to have drowned herself.

This was the world premiere of the song "Voy a dormir," and for the sake of music, I hope this is the last time it is ever performed. It is shit. The poem sung mournfully with orchestral backing. Absolute shit. I also couldn't hear O'Connor as loudly as I'd have liked, ditto with the symphony throughout; not terribly low, but not as loud as I'd have liked. Maybe I'm deaf or maybe it's just that Carnegie Hall has crappy acoustics.

I refused to cheer after this song.

So we go to intermission. You must think I'm having a miserable time. And you'd be WRONG. I came to this show almost entirely for one reason: the Emperor Concerto. If you're unfamiliar with it, here is great a version from last year at Lincoln Center https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvUlOezxsxE )



At Carnegie Hall, the pianist was Jeremy Denk https://jeremydenk.net/

The performance was great!

Opening of first movement was played a bit faster than what I'm used to ("what I'm used to")is this performance I linked to above, and a an audio recording, i think from the 70's, by Arthur Rubinstein, conducted by Daniel Barenboim), but I guess that just displayed the pianist's talents even more?  ;) It was a terrific experience. As I mentioned, I lined up my tickets to have seats directly in line with the pianist's hands. Too far to the right, and you can only see his face. Too far to the left, and you can perhaps see his hands, but also his back. My seat was literally on a direct line with Denk's bench, so I could see both the speed in which he moved his hands, and also his facial expressions. And Denk is quite expressive! Often, while he is playing, he is not looking down at his hands, but to his right, out at the crowd, smiling, sort of interacting with the audience! And during the times he is not playing and it's just the symphony, his hands are often moving in the air, along with the conductor's. (Note: During this piano concerto, I could not see Spano, the conductor, at all, because he was blocked by the piano. But that was totally ok.  :) )

The Emperor Concerto is one of my favorite pieces of music in the world, and any night on which you can see it performed live is a great night!

The ovations for the orchestra, Spano and Denk, were long, loud, and well-deserved. As we were leaving, I noticed that Dessner had been sitting just a few seats over from me. I was in too good a mood to tell him that he had composed a piece of shit.  >:D


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« #67 : February 19, 2018, 10:06:54 AM »

Good review (and great snarky commentary on ES!). I like the little Dessner music I've heard (as it happens, I was just listening to the CD he appears on with J. Greenwood before reading your post), so I probably would have enjoyed that part of the program more than you. The Emperor Concerto at speed sounds like an interesting approach. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the show. I think the acoustics at Carnegie Hall are the best in the world. Better than at Lincoln Center (which are very good).



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« #68 : February 19, 2018, 05:30:51 PM »

Good review (and great snarky commentary on ES!). I like the little Dessner music I've heard (as it happens, I was just listening to the CD he appears on with J. Greenwood before reading your post), so I probably would have enjoyed that part of the program more than you. The Emperor Concerto at speed sounds like an interesting approach. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the show. I think the acoustics at Carnegie Hall are the best in the world. Better than at Lincoln Center (which are very good).
Regarding acoustics: maybe I am just used to heavy-metal concerts, which are booming. I like all music loud - including classical. But I really know almost nothing about classical music, so any criticisms I ever make should be taken with a grain of salt.

I would not say that the entire concerto was especially fast – I only noticed it particularly in the opening.



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« #69 : April 02, 2018, 10:39:01 PM »

DJ and I went recently to this show at Lincoln Center

http://www.lincolncenter.org/great-performers/show/joshua-bell-and-academy-of-st-martin-in-the-fields-1

conductor/violinist Joshua Bell and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Mendelssohn: Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”)

We had decent seats - a few rows from the back, but dead center.


During the Mendelssohn and Beethoven pieces, Bell conducts and also is the principal first violinist aka "concertmaster." He conducts and plays his violin, all while sitting where the concertmaster usually sits. During the moments in which first violins are not playing, he'll conduct using his bow as a baton. (While he is playing, I guess maybe he uses head movements to conduct?)

During the Wieniawski piece, a violin concerto, Bell conducts and plays the violin solos, all while standing. The violinist who was sitting next to Bell during the other pieces, is concertmaster during this piece. During the times there are no violin solos, Bell is facing the orchestra and conducting like a normal conductor – except that he is using his bow as a baton in his right hand and there happens to be a violin in his left hand, ready to use when needed. When he has to play his violin solos, he turns to face the audience; the concertmaster then acts as conductor from his seat, using his bow as a baton, just as Bell does during the other two pieces.

The show was really nice. The Mendelssohn piece is  very good. The Wieniawski piece is awful. Beethoven's Pastoral symphony is one of my favorite pieces of music; this was my first time seeing it live  :)


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« #70 : April 03, 2018, 10:53:10 AM »

Me too, and now I want to see it again and again. I wouldn't say the Wieniawski piece is awful--it gave Bell plenty of opportunities for pyrotechnics, after all--it just isn't very memorable. I'm undecided on the Mendelssohn.



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« #71 : April 05, 2018, 03:05:05 PM »

I'm undecided on the Mendelssohn.

watch it again and decide that it's a very good piece! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=614ew5HY8vM


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« #72 : April 05, 2018, 03:33:44 PM »

Miss Hungary and I were at Lincoln Center last night, to see the New York Philharmonic.

https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/1718/salonen-conducts-beethoven-eroica-symphony


The show concert was conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esa-Pekka_Salonen who is currently the Composer-In-Residence at the New York Philharmonic.

(As an aside: the Philharmonic has not had an official musical director this year: Alan Gilbert https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Gilbert_(conductor) finished in 2017; they announced Jaap van Zweden as the Director-Designate; he will officially become Director next year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaap_van_Zweden )

Just before the show, I went to the box office and spent a crapload of money upgrading to spectacular seats – these never would have been available to general public; must have been seats of subscribers who canceled – 24 rows back, dead center  :) :) :)

The program featured the world premiere of a new work – a New York Philharmonic Commission), called "Metacosmos," composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir https://nyphil.org/whats-new/2018/january/anna-thorvaldsdottir-commission-metacosmos-world-premiere-april

At the start, Salonen and Thorvaldsdottir  came out onto the stage, and had a little conversation about the meaning behind the work. Apparently, it is something about moving on to the afterlife, going through life with all the seeming chaos and anxiety, and learning to accept life and the mixture of the chaos and the beauty etc.

The piece has lots of annoying whooshing sounds and rumbles and clanging (presumably to represent chaos and anxiety), and some decent melodic parts (presumably to represent beauty and joy) which were sadly, few and far between. I was very happy when this piece of shit was over. Fortunately, it was only 12 minutes long.

Here is a New York Times review of the show, which discusses the piece a bit more and also features a short video of a rehearsal of thhis piece https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/05/arts/music/new-york-philharmonic-esa-pekka-salonen.html

Some more on Thorvaldsdottir and the piece https://nyphil.org/whats-new/2018/january/anna-thorvaldsdottir-commission-metacosmos-world-premiere-april

Fortunately, once it was over, the real show could begin:

Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto, featuring the 25-year-old British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in his NY Philharmonic subscription debut. Then was Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, the "Eroica." The Eroica's first movement was played faster than what I am used to hearing (a recording of Leonard Bernstein with the NY Philharmonic). Here is a review in the NY Classical Review, which is pretty harsh on Salonen's interpretation of the Eroica http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2018/04/world-premiere-piano-debut-ignite-salonens-philharmonic-program/

This was the first time I have seen either of these Beethoven pieces. And I had hardly ever listened to them previously, either – with the exception of the first movement of the Eroica.

The 3rd piano concerto – though certainly not on the level of the 4th or the 5th – is alright. Opening movement is ok, second is not particularly memorable, third is pretty good.

The Eroica's first movement is very famous. The second is slow and not very good. The third and fourth, perhaps ok, I have to listen to them again.

All I know is, being in great seats at David Geffen Hall with the prettiest girl in the room. (Not that difficult, I admit, in a room where 90% of the women are at least 80 years old  ;) )

A great night!!!  :) :) :) :) :) :)






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« #73 : April 05, 2018, 03:55:40 PM »

Miss Hungary and I were at Lincoln Center last night, to see the New York Philharmonic.

https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/1718/salonen-conducts-beethoven-eroica-symphony


The show concert was conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esa-Pekka_Salonen who is currently the Composer-In-Residence at the New York Philharmonic.

(As an aside: the Philharmonic has not had an official musical director this year: Alan Gilbert https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Gilbert_(conductor) finished in 2017; they announced Jaap van Zweden as the Director-Designate; he will officially become Director next year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaap_van_Zweden )

Just before the show, I went to the box office and spent a crapload of money upgrading to spectacular seats – these never would have been available to general public; must have been seats of subscribers who canceled – 24 rows back, dead center  :) :) :)

The program featured the world premiere of a new work – a New York Philharmonic Commission), called "Metacosmos," composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir https://nyphil.org/whats-new/2018/january/anna-thorvaldsdottir-commission-metacosmos-world-premiere-april

At the start, Salonen and Thorvaldsdottir  came out onto the stage, and had a little conversation about the meaning behind the work. Apparently, it is something about moving on to the afterlife, going through life with all the seeming chaos and anxiety, and learning to accept life and the mixture of the chaos and the beauty etc.

The piece has lots of annoying whooshing sounds and rumbles and clanging (presumably to represent chaos and anxiety), and some decent melodic parts (presumably to represent beauty and joy) which were sadly, few and far between. I was very happy when this piece of shit was over. Fortunately, it was only 12 minutes long.

Here is a New York Times review of the show, which discusses the piece a bit more and also features a short video of a rehearsal of thhis piece https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/05/arts/music/new-york-philharmonic-esa-pekka-salonen.html

Some more on Thorvaldsdottir and the piece https://nyphil.org/whats-new/2018/january/anna-thorvaldsdottir-commission-metacosmos-world-premiere-april

Fortunately, once it was over, the real show could begin:

Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto, featuring the 25-year-old British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in his NY Philharmonic subscription debut. Then was Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, the "Eroica." The Eroica's first movement was played faster than what I am used to hearing (a recording of Leonard Bernstein with the NY Philharmonic). Here is a review in the NY Classical Review, which is pretty harsh on Salonen's interpretation of the Eroica http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2018/04/world-premiere-piano-debut-ignite-salonens-philharmonic-program/

This was the first time I have seen either of these Beethoven pieces. And I had hardly ever listened to them previously, either – with the exception of the first movement of the Eroica.

The 3rd piano concerto – though certainly not on the level of the 4th or the 5th – is alright. Opening movement is ok, second is not particularly memorable, third is pretty good.

The Eroica's first movement is very famous. The second is slow and not very good. The third and fourth, perhaps ok, I have to listen to them again.

All I know is, being in great seats at David Geffen Hall with the prettiest girl in the room. (Not that difficult, I admit, in a room where 90% of the women are at least 80 years old  ;) )

A great night!!!  :) :) :) :) :) :)






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« #74 : April 07, 2018, 05:34:37 PM »

Did you get Lucky? is all we want to know.

Situation with her is VERY complicated. Girl is NUTS  :-*


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