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Author Topic: DJ and D&D Go to the Symphony  (Read 2138 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: February 06, 2017, 10:57:25 PM »

So ...

dj and I have our thread  about art museums. And we have our thread about Broadway shows. Well, now we are adding symphonies to our repertoire. (Hey,  if we don't watch out, we might actually bring some class to the SLWB  Evil )

We were at three Beethoven shows at Lincoln Center in recent weeks. Tonight was the final one - one of the great nights of my life. Beethoven's 8th and 9th.  I just got home and should get to sleep, so I'll write more about it when I have a chance  Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 11:09:51 PM »

I have been listening to  classical music for years, but I was never at a live performance until January 12: The New York Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert, with Stephen Hough on piano playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (aka The Emperor Concerto)

 It was appropriate that this was my first classical concert, because the Emperor Concerto maybe the first piece of classical music that I ever fell in love with. About 16 years ago, I heard it on the movie "Immortal Beloved," was hooked on that and hooked on Beethoven.

The second half of the show was Brahms's Third Symphony,  which is an awful piece of crap, so DJ and I left at the intermission. We did not want to ruin our memories of the Emperor with the crappy Brahms piece

This  program ran for several nights; DJ and I went on Jan. 12. The show from the final night (Jan . 14)  was streamed live on Facebook live. Here is the link https://www.facebook.com/nyphilharmonic/videos/10154695338457293/

« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 09:10:31 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 11:11:49 PM »

Here is a not-very-positive review of that show http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2017/01/hough-philharmonic-go-introspective-with-beethovens-emperor/

Brief review from NY Times
https://www.google.com/amp/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/arts/music/review-stephanie-chase-sara-davis-beuchner-new-york-philharmonic.amp.html?client=safari

This review more positive http://classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=14213

This review not so positive https://www.google.com/amp/s/bachtrack.com/review-hough-gilbert-new-york-philharmonic-january-2017/amp%3D1?client=safari

As i said,  I have been listening to these pieces for years - though often the same recording over and over, so I have not heard many dofferent versions - and I am certainly not well-enough versed in the technical jargon and in the different idiosyncrasies of musicians and language etc. to understand what the reviewers are talking about.



Anyway, it was a great night for me and DJ (especially him; he went home afterward, whereas I foolishly went to a movie theater and sat through the miserable SILENCE).


Ok I really have to go to sleep now. Will discuss our other two shows later.  Smiley

« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 11:19:10 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 12:10:01 AM »

You guys are cute.

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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 02:13:09 AM »

Do you think we are invited when they marry one day?

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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 03:25:58 AM »

Do you think we are invited when they marry one day?

Wedding present better not be a Peckinpah BRD

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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 03:43:17 AM »

It will be a comedy BRD.

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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 04:17:32 AM »

a MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN hat?

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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 05:44:16 AM »

Had fun last night, Drink. Looking forward to reading your next installment. (Nothing in The Times today about last night's show, though)

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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 08:27:45 PM »

Oh, I should also mention: our seats were close to the stage, I think around 5 or 6 rows back or so, just to the right of center.

 Turns out that the best seats for a piano concerto are actually on the left of center, so that you can see the pianist's hands. We could only see his face.

But in David Geffen Hall, there is no such thing as a bad seat  Smiley

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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 08:43:24 PM »

Okay .... I'll start the next installment, in bits and pieces as I can

So our second show was Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm (ending an hour before the Super Bowl began).

The Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) http://www.bfz.hu/en/ conducted by Ivan Fischer, visiting David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for an all-Beethoven show: the First Symphony; the Fourth Piano Concerto, with Richard Goode on the piano; and the Fifth Symphony.

Our seats were fourth row, right of center. Right in front of the second-violin section. Two blonde violinists right in front of us.

Maestro Fischer walks out onstage. The senior citizens in the audience (aka almost the entire audience) clap in their seats. One idiot in the fourth row decides to rumble the place and stands up as he applauds, and points at The Maestro, who smiles and waves. Someone asks the fourth-row idiot, "Is the conductor a relative of yours?"
"No."
"So you're ... just a fan?"
"Hell yeah!"

Interesting thing about how the BFO sets up the instruments: the timpani is all the way up front, on the Maestro's left.

The first violins are of course on the Maestro's left; the second violins on his right. Deeper in are the violas. The cellos are directly in front of the Maestro.

Farther back, on raised platforms, are the wind instruments. All the way in back are the basses. Six of them!


Beethoven's First Symphony is alright - I was not familiar with it before buying these tickets (in July! DJ and I have waited seven months for these shows!) I recently started listening to it a lot on my iPod - it's alright. Not one of Beethoven's masterpieces, but certainly damn good for a first and better than what most anyone else could do. Afterward, they wheel out the Steinway piano for the 4th concerto. Doing so, they rearrange the seats somewhat, and DJ says to me, "Now we have a clear siteline at three blonde violinists, not just two." I look up and see that indeed, the rearranged seats give us a clear view to another blonde Hungarian violinist. We'll call her Aniko. Cuz that's her name. Aniko Mozes https://www.bfz.hu/en/orchestra/mozes-aniko  And sorry to disappoint you, DJ, but it looks like she's taken and she has a bunch of kids. Here is her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aniko.mozes.7

The 4th Concerto has moments where there are  Long stretches of piano where the symphony is doing nothing, and long stretches of the symphony with the pianist is doing nothing. At one point where the symphony was sitting around doing nothing for a while, I caught Aniko looking bored and spacing out. I laughed or wave at her and got her attention; she smiled back.


So, we go to intermission; the Steinway is wheeled back off the stage, as we prepare for the masterpiece known to all the world: Beethoven's Fifth.

BTW, funny thing about the BFO: the first violinist, Giovanni Guzzo, spends the whole show laughing. Not kidding. Smiling, smirking through the whole set.

So now, as the BFO walks onstage for the 5th, and I stand up and applaud, Guzzo's eye catches mine, and I mouth, "No laughing." He suddenly turns deadly serious - for the first and last time.  Grin

BTW, this is Guzzo's page http://www.giovanniguzzo.com/index.php

Before the Fifth begins, an announcement comes over the public-address system that for the fourth movement, the BFO will be joined onstage by players from the Julliard School and Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Funny thing is, in Beethoven's Fifth, there is no pause between the 3rd and 4th movements. It's like one long piece. So the music is in middle of playing, suddenly the side stage doors open, the kids run on with their instruments and the stands holding their sheet music and start playing. Was really nice. Lots of instruments, a loud booming sound, for Beethoven's Fifth, a great symphony that just doesn't seem to ever want to end  Wink

Funny thing happened during the Fifth - one of the blonde violinists sitting directly in front of us dropped her bow and had to bend down and pick it up  Grin

After the show, a great ovation, the entire place was standing. I clapped so hard and so long that the next morning, my shoulders were absolutely killing me. I could not lift my arm above my shoulders. But what a wonderful pain it was  Smiley

Then, of course, we go to a bar with DJ to watch the Super Bowl, meeting some (supposed) friends of mine. DJ leaves with Atlanta way ahead, figuring it's over. I know what Yogi Berra would have to say about that, so I stay till the end, and unfortunately watch New England's miraculous comeback. Plus, some girl problems at the bar. I figure it's done between me and the Kenyan girl. So, another great night at the symphony, ruined by the dumb shit I do afterward, instead of just going home with the good memory.

--

The next night, Monday night, is to be the granddaddy of them all: the second and last of the two performances BFO are doing in New York, featuring Beethoven's 8th and 9th Symphonies. The Little and The Choral. I swear to myself that this is going to be the greatest night of my life and that I am going to go straight home afterward and keep the good memory.

Did I keep that vow? Stay tuned .......  Wink


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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2017, 11:31:45 PM »

I see here that there is a cd boxset available on Amazon: Richard Goode playing the complete Beethobven piano concertos, with the BFO conducted by Ivan Fischer https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Beethoven-Piano-Concertos-CD/dp/B001LRKATC


actually, this cd is available on YouTube for free from Warner Music

 Concerto #5:
1st movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obgbfG9N2jI
2nd movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzJvPcZ8Jlg
3rd movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzJvPcZ8Jlg


 Concerto #4
1st movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqrFJV0oaIc
2nd movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1tOj0pfgoY
3rd movement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33ZuNPhlIhw


I won't waste my time posting the other three concertos, as they are all available in the same playlist there. Enjoy!

« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 11:37:52 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 11:38:48 PM »

Had fun last night, Drink. Looking forward to reading your next installment. (Nothing in The Times today about last night's show, though)

I am looking around for reviews of our show but I cannot find any. I guess that in NY, maybe the reviewers only pay attention to the shows by the New York Philharmonic, for whom Lincoln Center is home, and don't bother with the visiting orchestras?


On that note, the tickets for the BFO shows were cheaper than the ones for the New York Philharmonic a couple of weeks ago (after the fees, a total of $145 per ticket, vs. $111). I guess the season subscribers and other idiots prefer the NY Phil. I'll keep that in mind and keep seeing the visiting orchestras at cheaper prices, and enjoying them at least as much.

Anyway, I cannot find any reviews of our show, but here is an interview Playbill did with Fischer a couple of weeks before http://www.playbill.com/article/budapests-ivan-fischer-master-innovator

--------

here are a few more interesting links:

Ivan Fischer discussing Beethoven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgOTVoDqZKc

Here is an interview of Stephen Hough - the pianist who played the Emperor Concerto at our first show, with the NY Philharmonic - discussing the Emperor Concerto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH1kKTEKv4s

here is a ten-minute interview with Hough, discussing Beethoven's piano concertos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN-jYcbCEXo

Finally, here is a video from last year of the BFO doing a "flash mob" version of Beethoven's 7th Symphony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soMMhncspEU

Now, the BFO and "flash mob" will come into play when I discuss the Monday, Feb. 6 show of Beethoven's 8th and 9th. But I REALLY have to get sleep now, so I'll leave that for another day  Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 11:48:31 AM »

Your account is fun to read, Drink. I feel like I'm experiencing it all for the first time! Can't wait to hear about Monday's show.

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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 11:47:57 AM »

Okay, so i am at work now, but things are slow - big snow day in Northeastern USA - so I will start my review now of the Monday show. We'll see how far I get.

---

Monday, February 6

A warm evening for February in the Big Apple.

Show starts at 8:00 p.m. - Beethoven's 8th symphony, then an intermission, followed by Beethoven's 9th.

I exit the subway station at Columbus Circle a few minutes at about 7:10 p.m.,  and start walking the few blocks to Lincoln Center, when suddenly I see woman walking with a violin case. I recognized her immediately - it was Aniko, DJ's Immortal Beloved violinist whom I had made laugh in middle of the piano concerto the previous evening! http://www.bfz.hu/en/biographies/aniko-mozes/ I started speaking to her, and I reminded her of my shenanigans from the previous night. She said (in heavy Hungarian accent), "You are the one with the blue coat?" Actually, it was a blue shirt, but I said yes. We laughed and chatted a little as we walked the few blocks to Lincoln Center. She was with one of the cellists, named Gyorgy Kertesz http://www.bfz.hu/en/biographies/gyorgy-kertesz/. I took a picture with them - otherwise, DJ would never have believed me that I met him Immortal Beloved.

Now here is a funny story: As I am waiting for DJ to arrive, I'm chatting with some guy named Paul from Seattle. The subject of ancestry came up, and here's a funny thing - he said that one of his ancestors was a Hessian!  Those were the mercenaries hired by the British to fight the colonial Americans in the American Revolutionary War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hessian_(soldier)
They are most famous as the jackasses who were partying on Christmas night when Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware and jumped them https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington%27s_crossing_of_the_Delaware_River

Paul from Seattle didn't know if his ancestors was actually there during that famous incident. But this sure is the first son-of-a-Hessian I ever met!

--

ok, my boss finally arrived. Back to work. will type more tonight  Smiley


« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 07:16:22 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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