New York Philharmonic: Jurowski, Benedetti, Szymanowski and Prokofiev

jurowskiThis evening’s performance by the Philharmonic was themed around nature and fairy tales. Violinist Nicola Benedetti joined conductor Vladimir Jurowski and the Philharmonic for Karol Symanowski‘s Violin Concerto No 1 (Op, 35). This was a very interesting, contemporary work requiring both skilled soloist and conductor. Benedetti was a last-minute replacement for Janine Jansen.

The program concluded with a selection of music from Prokofiev‘s ballet, Cinderella. A year of Cinderellas as I just saw the Rossini interpretation of the story earlier this month at the Metropolitan Opera.



New York Philharmonic: Haitink and Mahler

new_york_philharmonic_the_mahler_broadcastsIt’s always look forward with great anticipation any concert of the New York Philharmonic that has them performing Mahler. Tonight, I got to hear Mahler’s Symphony 3. Bernard Haitink (at the age of 85) conducted the Philharmonic, Women of the New York Choral Artists along with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

The was the glorious conclusion to a glorious day of beautiful music. (I saw the beautiful Bridges of Madison County earlier in the day).


The Bridges of Madison County

bridgesofMCWhile I have not seen many musicals (at least compared to several years ago), when I heard the Bridges of Madison County (based on the novel and film) was closing, I tried to find the time in my schedule to see it before its last performance. I was fortunate enough to see the Saturday matinee before it closed.

I have no idea why it is closing – a strong score, strong book and wonderful performances, particularly from Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale. I have been addicted to the Jason Robert Brown score, especially the numbers with O’Hara and Pasquale. Supposedly there will be a tour in fall 2015.


By Randy Ziegenfuss Posted in Broadway

Walden Chamber Players

waldenThe last presentation of the 2013-14 CMSOB season was Walden Chamber Players. Each year, CMSOB programs a larger chamber music group. The Walden Chamber Players consisted of violin, viola, cello, piano, horn and clarinet for this performance, although their instrumentation varies depending on the repertoire.

They played a program of varied chamber music:

  • Bach & Mozart Two Preludes & Fugues for String Trio, K. 404a
  • Hindemith Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello & Piano
  • Schumann Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales) Op. 132 for Clarinet, Viola & Piano
  • Brahms Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 40

This was another high quality chamber music performance in a season full of excellent music making!


La Cenerentola

lacenerentolatopThe final Met opera of the 2013-14 season, for me, was Rossini’s La Cenerentola, based on the well-known tale of Cinderella. Two of my favorite opera singers were featured: Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diago Florez. Alessandro Corbelli and Luca Pisaroni complete the cast, with Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leading the effervescent score.


By Randy Ziegenfuss Posted in Opera

New York Philharmonic: Pixar in Concert

03PIXAR-master675I didn’t realize it, but this production is “touring” around the country with various orchestras. Like the New York Times says, this is largely a money-making venture for those orchestras that take on this project. While entertaining, music in each of the 14 Pixar films isn’t exactly the most engaging. But, as always, it was great to hear the Philharmonic. I am now interested in seeing some of these movies, not necessarily because of the music, but because of the animation. The music that interested me the most was that from The Incredibles. David Newman, from the famous Newman family (Alfred, Randy and Thomas ) conducted the performance. It was also fascinating to watch how the conductor coordinated the orchestra with the various montages from all 14 films.