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Sydney Menees

View From the Audience, Part 2

May 23, 2010 at 9:55 PM

It seems as though I overestimated my ability to blog and manage my college work.  No matter.  The semester is over, so I will keep my word and complete my two-part mini series: View From the Audience.  As I lamented in Part 1, my memory is fuzzy, therefore this will be less precise than I would have liked. 

In February, I had the great privilege of hearing the New York Philharmonic for the first time.  The opportunity nearly slipped out of my fingers due to pesky New York subway maps lying about their destinations, but that tale is not worthy of  I made it to Lincoln Center and as soon as I walked into Avery Fisher Hall, I felt like I was entering a phantasmagorical reality.  The stage I had seen for so many years on TV was right in front of me.  On the stage was one of the most renowned orchestras in the world.  From where I was sitting in orchestra seating, the hall was almost full, but I barely had time to survey the audience before the concert began.  It was a short, substantive program:

            Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

            Benjamin: Dance Figures

            Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand

            Ginastera: Four Dances from the Ballet Estancia

The NY Phil plays like a dream.  I was certainly not disappointed.  I wish I could elaborate more, but I would be doing an injustice.  About the pieces specifically, they were all aurally delectable, but the Ravel was particularly enjoyable.  I was surprised at Ravel’s ability to create such an expansive sound while only employing the left hand.  I had never heard any Ginastera, so I’m not sure how characteristic the Dances were of his work.  The four selections were buoyant and full of Argentinian zest.  They were certainly different from the rest of the program and real crowd pleasers at that.  Since I have to leave for a chamber music party now, I guess this concludes part two of my two part series, View from the Audience.   

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on May 24, 2010 at 4:54 AM

It's good to hear from you again, Sydney.  I'm glad that you got to hear a really great orchestra perform live.

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