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Author Topic: DJ and D&D Go to the Symphony  (Read 2131 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »

can't wait  Tongue

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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2017, 05:24:14 PM »

can't wait  Tongue

can't appreciate culture   Tongue

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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2017, 02:56:42 AM »

alright, time to continue (sorry CJ  Tongue )

--

I can't believe it, but in the last post, I forgot to mention the most important thing: As I am walking with Aniko the violinist and Gyorgy the cellist, Aniko lets me in (somewhat) on a little secret: There's a surprise coming at the concert, she tells me. But she won't tell me what it is, and I'm going to have to wait for it; I'm going to have to wait till the end of the show. Remember, the show is Beethoven's 8th and 9th Symphonies, so that means, I figure, that the surprise is coming in the 4th movement of Beethoven's Ninth, better known as the Ode to Joy, the most famous symphonic movement (probably the most famous melody, period) in history. Gyorgy confirms that the surprise is indeed coming in the Ode to Joy, but that's all they'll say.

I tell Aniko that I won't be in the same seats tonight - I'll still be in the 4th row, but not on the right side in front of her like last night; tonight, I will be just to the right of center. She tells me to wave to her when she walks out, and she'll find me.

So, I take the pic with Aniko and the cellist, they go inside their entrance, and I go to the civilian side, where I have my shmooze with Paul from Seattle, descendant of Hessians, about Leonard Bernstein and Arturo Toscanini. DJ arrives, and after a few more minutes we go in.

I get a shot of Johnnie Black from the bar (they're out of my usual drink, Jack Daniel's). It's THIRTEEN dollars a shot - but their shots are really doubles, and hey, I'm supporting the arts, right? Officially, drinks have to be drunk in the lobby, but I sneak my drink into the concert hall under my coat. The only thing greater than watching a Beethoven symphony is watching a Beethoven symphony while drinking whiskey  Smiley

As DJ and I take our seats, I immediately notice that there is no room on stage for the choir. Beethoven's Ninth is known as the "Choral" symphony, as it was the first symphony to ever use human voices. The fourth movement features a mezzo soprano, soprano, tenor and bass; as well as a full mens and womens choir. I've seen many videos of performances of the Ninth; the choir usually stands somewhere behind the orchestra, or on a level above the orchestra; but I see here that there is absolutely no room for the choir. I tell DJ that the surprise Aniko was telling me about probably has something to do with how the choir is going to emerge. I start guessing how it may happen. I remember from the previous night how the Julliard and Bard students ran out on stage for the fourth movement of the Fifth Symphony (though the public-address announcer announced before the symphony began that that they would be doing so. I wonder - is the choir tonight going to run out that way? There's no room for them behind the orchestra - are they going to squeeze between the instruments? Are they going to slide down ropes? Maybe they'll magically drop down onto  magically appearing tiers on the wall behind the orchestra? I have no idea. But I'm sure as hell wondering - and I sure as hell did not guess right  Wink


At 8:00 p.m., the lights go down, and the BFO walks onto the stage. Most of the audience applauds in their seats; I usually stand. Aniko is indeed loking over the crowd for me. I wave at her, she smiles back at me  Smiley

Maestro Fischer enters, another round of applause, he picks up the baton, and away we go, for Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F Major. Beethoven used to call it "my little symphony in F." It's the shortest of all Beethoven's symphonies, generally taking less than half-hour. I previously mentioned that the Emperor Concerto (specifically the third movement) was the first Beethoven piece that I fell in love with. Well the 8th Symphony (specifically the third movement) was the second piece I fell in love with. I've been listening to it for so many years, and now ... I'm finally seeing it live.

Great performance. Loud ovations when it's over, and we head to intermission, and another cup of Johnnie Black from the bar in the lobby, which I again sneak back in under my coat.

We take our seats for Beethoven's Ninth. The orchestra walks out onstage, then Maestro Fischer, to loud applause.

The Maestro picks up the baton, the opening bars of the symphony begin, and away we go.
Feels like the moment I've been waiting for all my life is here!

The Ninth Symphony is more than an hour long. More than an hour of the some of the greatest music ever composed, by a man who was deaf.

As the First Movement begins, I notice that there is still no sign of the singers or the choir. DJ and I, at least, knew some sort of surprise are coming. All the other audience members must have been wondering what the hell is going on ... where is the choir?

---

I have to go to sleep now. More to come  Smiley

« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 07:17:25 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2017, 05:28:42 AM »

Let me guess.... in the audience  Azn

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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2017, 07:10:24 AM »

Let me guess.... in the audience  Azn

Good guess  Afro

Here is the Playbill interview from a couple of weeks ago with Fischer that I linked to earlier http://www.playbill.com/article/budapests-ivan-fischer-master-innovator

They mention here how he once before did a unique thing, putting the choir in the front rows of the audience and having the 4 singers scattered throughout the orchestra.

By our show, it was not the exact same thing here: it sort of took that concept even further ....

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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2017, 07:33:09 AM »

I say in the audience too. I'm lucky to have experienced the same thing at a musical show about Barbara. It was an incredibly powerful experience, especially since, just like with Ode To Joy, the mise en scène fits the message behind the music.

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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2017, 09:13:22 AM »

I say in the audience too. I'm lucky to have experienced the same thing at a musical show about Barbara. It was an incredibly powerful experience, especially since, just like with Ode To Joy, the mise en scène fits the message behind the music.

yes, it was in the audience. But not in a section of the audience. They were scattered throughout the audience. Wearing regular clothes. So nobody expected it. (See, unlike Aniko the violinist, I'm giving you a real sneak preview of the "surprise"  Wink)

I also dropped hints by A) sharing the Playbill interview; and B) posting the BFO's "flash mob" YouTube video of them doing Beethoven's 7th. Because what happened with the choir - and also what happened with the kids from Julliard and Bard running on stage the night before (though that was announced), was a BFO "flash mob!" (Though the Ode to Joy thing has never been done this way by them or any other orchestra/choir as far as anyone I spoke to knew).

There is a one-minute video clip available at the Lincoln Center Facebook page of the choir in the audience and a one-minute clip of the Julliard and Bard thing from the night before

go to https://www.facebook.com/LincolnCenterNYC/videos/

the one with Julliard & Bard students is called "Budapest Festival Orchestra Flash Mob" https://www.facebook.com/LincolnCenterNYC/videos/10154944124493187/


the one at Beethoven's Ninth is called "Budapest Festival Orchestra: Concert Chorale of New Yor" https://www.facebook.com/LincolnCenterNYC/videos/10154945363763187/

in the Ode to Joy video, you can see me and DJ. We are in the fourth row center, right at bottom of screen. I am wearing dark blue shirt and turning around to see the choir, so you only see my back. DJ is sitting to my left, facing the stage.


« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 06:35:20 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2017, 09:26:46 AM »

DJ and I just got tickets for February 22, Beethoven's 7th & 8th Symphonies. The New York Philharmonic, guest-conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.

This time, we got seats way in the back of the floor, in center. It will provide a bit of a different perspective.

I assume that the absolute best seats are about 15 rows back from the stage. But those probably get bought up immediately by season subscribers.

The back of the floor is also cool cuz the floor slopes upward a little, so by the time it reaches the back, the seats are a lot higher than those in the front.

There are no bad seats at David Geffen Hall!

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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2017, 10:53:03 AM »

Did you bone Aniko the violinist?

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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2017, 10:53:47 AM »

This is the actual "surprise" element in this story. What a suspense!

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« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2017, 11:12:16 AM »

In order to eliminate any possible suspense there, I mentioned immediately that she is married with kids.

Sorry boys, but our friendship is on a much deeper level than mere sex  Wink

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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2017, 11:13:16 AM »

This is the actual "surprise" element in this story. What a suspense!

As a Hitchcock fan, you should be ashamed of yourself, using "surprise" and "suspense" synonymously  Tongue

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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2017, 11:19:37 AM »

Maybe I wasn't clear. In this case:

The surprise she teased you with and then you teased us with is the answer to the existential "sex or no sex?" question.
The suspense is what happened after CJ wrote the question.

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« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2017, 02:23:33 PM »

Okay, I am waiting at the barbershop now, so have some time to  type what I can:

So the Ninth begins ... no sign of choir or singers. Finally, at beginning of Third movement, the four singers come out and sit down near the front, the men with the first violinists, the women with the second.

Fourth movement begins, still no sign of the choir.  The singing parts begin: as each singer's part comes up, he/she stands IN FRONT OF STAGE, sings and then sits back down.

Finally comes the moment: the bass singer says, "Freude," and the (heretofore unseen) choir is supposed to answer "Freude," - and suddenly we hear the voices coming from behind us. Yeah, the singers of the Concert Chorale of New York are sprinkled throughout the audience. Not dressed up or holding songbooks. Wearing street clothes and reading the lyrics printed in the Playbills, so that nobody would suspect who they are!

The audience is abuzz. NOBODY has ever seen this before. The Maestro is conducting the symphony in front of him and the choir behind him, at times turning to face the choir; so he is also facing the audience.

It's a surround-sound choir, spread throughout the floor and first tier. It is simply incredible.

With the final bars and the finish with a flourish, everyone the entire hall - and I mean every last motherfucker including the old men in wheelchairs - leaps to their feet and delivers the loudest and longest standing ovation you will ever see or hear. He who was not there shall never know what it was like. Every motherfucker standing and clapping and yelling and roaring. First at the Maestro. Then he bows to the singers. Then the orchestra. And then to the choir in the audience. And we applaud each in turn. The building is damn near shaking. We also turn around and applaud the choir members near us.

The four singers are up front with Fischer. Then the choirmaster comes out and joins them.

The audience is not allowing anyone to leave. They stars keep walking off stage, but are forced to walk back on again and again and acknowledge the thunderous roars. Something like seven times they left and came back. Finally, at the last ovation, I catch Fischer's eye - right in front of him in 4th row - and yell "COME BACK SOON!" He smiles and bows and says, "Thank you."

Eventually, the lights go up. But the crowd is not done, as we walk over to the choir members near us and congratulate them and speak with them about what is truly a historic evening.

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY NOBODY NOBODY I speak to has ever seen anything like this before, with the choir in the audience like this. The BFO has never done this before, Fischer has never done this before, The Concert Chorale of New York has never done this before, the choirmaster has never done this before. None of the singers nor nobody in the audience has ever seen this before.

Since its premiere on May 7, 1824 at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna, Beethoven's Ninth, the greatest of all symphonies, has been performed who knows how many times around the world. On February 6, 2017, at David Geffen Hall in New York's Lincoln Center, it is quite possible this was the first-ever time that the choir-sprinkled-throughout-the-audience was done. This is another example of the BFO "flash mob." Maestro Fischer keeps finding ways of making Beethoven new and fresh. Not that Beethoven needs it. But it is very cool knowing that this may have been the first time this has ever happened – a new way of performing Beethoven – and that I was present for a historic show.


On our way out, DJ and I meet the choirmaster.

Then, after DJ heads home, I go to the stage door,  chat and get pics wih bass, soprano, First Violin and

Barber just called me!

« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 07:07:43 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2017, 04:39:59 PM »

Can you two have your next date be at the Scorsese Exhibit at Museum of Moving Image? Trying to budget in a NY trip and wanna see if it's worth it (I'm sorry - but I dont like NY generally. But every few months something draws me there).

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