Saturday, December 31, 2016

New York Philharmonic, David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Centre, New York City

I’ve watched New York shows time and again on the telly.  So it’s a delight to be able to go to the fabulous Lincoln Centre and see and hear these performances live.  I know I’ll enjoy future concerts later having been there.  Hopefully I’ll return and now know where the best seats are, not to say I didn’t do amazingly well ordering on line.
I really like looking down on the symphony and Laura liked being face on in the first tier.  The sound in the David Geffen Hall is the best. Might as well be wearing earphones.
Copland and Marsalis..  I didn’t know either and didn’t know what to expect. I’m a more traditional classical fan but loved that the Margolis Jungle Jazz premiere was on simply because Jazz is the uniquely American contribution to classical music. Further I really like horns in the Christmas season. Strings seem to flaunt the rigors of social justice in symphony work and horns, sometimes wind or even the drums are often second class citizens.
I loved the Copland’s  Quiet City (1939/40)  in the first section.  Grace Shryock played the English Horn and Christopher Martin the Horn. This was a truly elegant performance.
Joseph Alessi played the trombone solo In William Bolcom’s (1938) piece. I really was something. How often do you see that?  I’ve never before heard a trombone solo symphony. It was great.
Jungle by Marsalis was the best though.  Every aspect of jazz seemed represented.  It was perfection.  The piano was truly amazing. The horn ending was spectacular.
There were encores and more. The whole of the Lincoln Centre, a huge venue,  rose to it’s feet clapping and cheering.   Alan Gilbert, the Conductor, was amazing.
And a really special treat.
The trombone soloist joined with the other trombones in the symphony to give a regular "duelling trombone"number. We really felt special to be there that night. The crowd roared even louder.
The lovely older lady behind me, and I’m old, cleverly commented, “It wasn’t 76 trombones but it surely was the best!”  Yes, indeed!
Thank you New York Philharmonic!
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New York City Views

There’s no story to these pictures. We’re just a couple of Canadians from a little city in the north who don’t have a cacophony of skyscrapers and 24 hour city life happening in our little part of of the galaxy. New York City is a hub for people. We’re out on the coast.  New Yorkers probably take for granted what we think is amazing.  I’m blown away by the architecture. I’m overwhelmed by the crowds. I love the functionality and efficiency of the place. I’m astonished at the police keeping things calm.  I’m amazed at the civility.  New York gets a lot of bad rap but in the last week we’ve only met one psychopathic business man and seen a couple of loud drunks on the subway.  We’ve felt incredibly safe considering just how many people from all over that there are.  The only real time I felt unsafe was visitting the Trump Tower because of terrorist threats, not because of New Yorkers.  Considering how many people have guns and likely how many are carrying I feel safer in New York than I felt in Athens.
One of the reasons I wanted to come to New York was to restore my faith in my fellow man. I love God and I love creation. I normally would be spending this time in Mexico or Hawaii scuba diving and enjoying looking at corral and fish. I might otherwise be skiing in the north at some resort.  In the summer I’m sailing. I get away from people and enjoy nature.
But working in this fentanyl epidemic in the Vancouver DTES with all the deaths and the insanity and losing my brother to cancer I just felt I needed to see art and culture and restore my faith in my fellow man.  Certainly I have. It’s easy to focus on the negative. It’s easy to have a crick in one’s neck and not see the goodness.  I’m here in New York and despite the traffic I’ve only seen one little scraped fender bender.
People are always looking out for each other. People are 99% of  the time following the rules. In New York City I have been in the centre of thousands of people moving through a packed street and no one pushed or shoved me or got angry.  Being in the centre of Rockerfeller Square is a veritable love in considering how much care people are taking not to step on children or trip over strollers.  Imagine that.  I get more attitude on a day to day basis in Vancouver Canada than I do in New York City. There’s been more civility and respect for person here than I often know elsewhere.
I love the churches here.  Trinity and St. Paul's and St. Patrick's. I love the uplifting nature of church architecture. I love the old and yes I love the new too.
I loved the ice rink and zamborni machine in the Rockerfeller Centre.
Maybe we’re getting older but several times Laura and I have had people offer us seats on the subway. There’s human kindness everywhere.  But what’s amazing is the excellence. There is genius in the works on Broadway. There’s genius in the building of the tunnels to move traffic in the bridges and the buildings where people work and  live. We have been able to see the world’s greatest production of beauty and creativity in the art galleries and museums that are everywhere here.  We have eaten fresh fabulously prepared food.
I love the architecture. Architecture has always been art for the poor people. Everyone gets to view architecture but a sculpture or painting may be hidden away by a collector in a private study. Architecture is too big for that. So mostly I’m just amazed at the architecture in New York.  That’s what a lot of these pictures are, just beautiful views of architecture and street scenes.
Thank you New York City.
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