Friday, October 30, 2009

The Philharmonic!

Went to the New York Philharmonic tonight, on a whim. (Something else was planned, but the other person couldn't make it, and the internet helped me in less than 10 minutes to get a ticket for the Philharmonic. Turns out the Philharmonic was available for a similar reason - a trip to Cuba canceled at the last minute for some reason.) The program was friendly - Beethoven's Egmont Overture and Third Piano Concerto (with sometimes reserved Emmanuel Ax), then Bernstein's "Dance Suite from West Side Story" and one of the suites from Manuel de Falla's "Three-Cornered Hat." But the news was the orchestra's new Music Director, Alan Gilbert. Gilbert, who's a year younger than me, and a child of the Philharmonic, literally - both of his parents are violinists in the orchestra; his mother (who's Japanese) still playing, his father retired. He certainly seems comfortable up there, very nearly dancing to the Bernstein and de Falla. The Beethoven was by turns bold, agile and tender. But it was the Bernstein that made the evening for me, Gilbert and the Philharmonic bringing out all the cacophonous and diaphanous wonders that an earlier Music Director of the Philharmonic found he could put there as he adapted music from his opera/musical for a huge orchestra. Amazing percussion, dulcet strings, brass to make your hair stand ecstatically on end. At one point I heard the Rite of Spring and then, just seconds later, Tito Puente. Mambo! (Picture source.)

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