Author Topic: Bergdorf's Windows and a little night music (February 27 AND March 24, 2009)  (Read 6596 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Friday, February 27, I was running to meet Meryl at the new Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.  (Well, Alice Tully Hall is at least forty years old, but it has been problematical acoustically since the beginning; the latest--and costliest--re-engineering has just been done, and the cognoscenti   have given it the thumbs up.) Thanks to Meryl, I got to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski, the conductor; the program: Mahler's Adagio from Symphony No. 10 (1910) and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major (1786) with Leon Fleisher on the piano before  the intermission, then two works from 2001, A Space OdysseyLigeti's Atmosphères (1961) and Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra (1895-96). (Meryl is giving me Kultchuh! )

So, just at about 6:00 PM, I reached Bergdorf's on Fifth, between 57th and 58th (the women's  store, on the *WEST side of the Avenue; the men's store is exactly opposite, but smaller--of course!), and skidded to a halt; the windows were filled with paintings by Hunt Slonem, a friend of a friend. Anyway, it was raining and my iPhone was acting up--but I stopped and took some pictures (Meryl, I really did make it to the new 'at65' exactly 6:30--I swear!! Well, thank goodness for stalwart Pain Quotidien  is all I have to say...)

(re: me correcting the *WEST side of Fifth rather than first writing EAST for the Bergdorf's women's store on Fifth--sigh, it's the Aphasia, folks, it's the Aphasia, I swear--unless it's Alzheimer's also....Anyway, onward....)



New York

iPhone Album
Friday, February 27, 2009
6:00 - 6:10 PM

Bergdorf's Windows
Hunt Slonem

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http://www.huntslonem.com/
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 02:06:52 pm by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
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Offline Meryl

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 02:03:34 am »
Pretty!

Imaginative, classy and cool.  8)

Thanks, John!  And thanks for making the symphony fun.  :-*
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 02:47:40 am »


Pretty!

Imaginative, classy and cool.  8)

Thanks, John!  And thanks for making the symphony fun.  :-*


Aww!--All I did was show up--you made it happen! Thanks!   :-*
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

karen1129

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2009, 03:20:12 am »
Wow !!  Those pictures are awesome John.

Thank you for them !!!!

Oh, I love the symphony!!!
What I wouldn't give to live in NYC.


Offline Mikaela

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2009, 06:57:12 am »
Well, this gave me a true whiff of the wonders of the Big City!  :)

I especially loved the colour palette used, very deep and rich and lush. Napoleon's imperial France meets the secret inner chambers of the seraille.....

Thank you so much for your photo-reports, John.

It's like being there for a little while!  :)  NYC is special, no place like it.

Glad you managed to get to the Symphony anyway. Sounds wonderful.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows and a little night music (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 08:42:28 pm »


Wow !!  Those pictures are awesome John.
Thank you for them !!!!
Oh, I love the symphony!!!
What I wouldn't give to live in NYC.



Well, this gave me a true whiff of the wonders of the Big City!  :)
I especially loved the colour palette used, very deep and rich and lush. Napoleon's imperial France meets the secret inner chambers of the seraille.....
Thank you so much for your photo-reports, John.
It's like being there for a little while!  :)  NYC is special, no place like it.
Glad you managed to get to the Symphony anyway. Sounds wonderful.




Thank you, Karen! And thank you, Mikaela! I'm so glad you liked the photos.

NY is just my little hometown, my goldfish bowl with tiny plastic castle, my hamster cage with wheel. I love it, but I can be oblivious. I also have a tin-ear and a skull stuffed with horsehair and feathers--but even I  knew that we had a great, great evening at the London Philharmonic--look, see below, the schmarty Einstein critics (mostly) agreed--and ONE of the schmarties and Einsteins, Meryl, ESPECIALLY loved the Der Rosenkavalier  encore.

Yeah, we looked at one another afterwards, and thought--yup, however exaperating sometimes, NY can be really, really great.





http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/20090303_New_York_musical_test_of_interest_to_Phila_.html?text=med&c=y



Posted on Tue, Mar. 3, 2009

New York musical test of interest to Phila.
 By Peter Dobrin
Inquirer Classical Music Critic



Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic in the U.S. premiere of "Vita Nuova"  at the remade, and acoustically impressive, Alice Tully Hall. Jurowski will conduct this week at the Kimmel Center.


(....)

That said, the experience paled next to the originality Friday night in a Jurowski-assembled program of late Mahler, Mozart, Ligeti, and Richard Strauss. Leon Fleisher, technically impaired to a sorrowful point, was soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major (K. 488).  The less said the better here, though he at least managed a poetic second movement. But it was Jurowski who, through pacing of inevitability and connectiveness, gave that music its most soulful moments.

You might not have noticed his contribution unless you had heard other conductors micro-manipulating phrasing that really needed no further contribution from them, and it was this way, too, in Mahler's "Adagio" from the Symphony No. 10.  Jurowski didn't inject profundity or vulgarity, letting the work's own terrifying narrative unfold under its own steam.

The second half of the program was half the repertoire Jurowski was to have conducted with the Philadelphia Orchestra a year ago, an appearance canceled due to illness. He performed without interruption an incisive account of Ligeti's Atmosphères  and an edgy but never crass Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra  (an elision which must have confused a part of the audience that broke out into applause in the middle of the Strauss).

Technically, Jurowski has it all down. His senses of balance and color are minutely calibrated. He is a masterly communicator with players, dovetailing one solo into another so that long stretches of music came across as complete ideas rather than isolated phrases.

But all these are, to some extent, logistical issues (as surprisingly rare as they are with other conductors).

The more valuable insight Jurowski brings is the one relating to emotion. The encore was more Strauss: the "Sempre più lento - Moderato molto sostenuto" and "quick waltz" from the suite from Der Rosenkavalier.  Jurowski knows that in order to have a really great climax you can't have four or five smaller ones along the way. To put it clinically, release is most meaningful after a period of steady restraint. In more human terms it was a philosophy that doubtless, at its excruciating peak, brought tears to the eyes of more than one listener.



http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/classicalmusic/2009/02/london_philharmonic_jurowski_d.html



London Philharmonic, Jurowski, Fleisher deliver superb music-making at Strathmore



For a brief moment, I felt a little guilty about missing the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's performance last night at the Meyerhoff in order to catch the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Strathmore. But I quickly spotted some BSO staffers playing hooky, too, so those qualms evaporated in a flash. Besides, the BSO's program will be repeated; the LPO's visit to the region (another valuable presentation by the Washington Performing Arts Society) was confined to this single appearance.

It has been quite a while since I heard the esteemed ensemble, and I had yet to experience its buzz-producing principal conductor, Moscow-born Vladimir Jurowski. Both left me deeply impressed.

Let's start with the sound of the LPO -- lush, but never thick, and exceptionally refined. I was quite taken with how smoothly and tightly entrances were made, each section cohesively articulating and adding equally to the big aural picture. The strings had a silken tone (the basses -- lined single-file along one side wall, a practice the BSO might want to explore -- sounded unusually rich and dark); the woodwinds glowed; the brass had power that never coarsened. It was fun just soaking up all the orchestral color emanating from the stage, but there was much more than that to savor.

Jurowski, tall and thin with a long mane of black hair (he probably could have gotten a supporting role in Twilight ), goes against the podium norm, conducting with an economy of means and few leaps or swirls. His precise gestures obviously communicate with clarity and feeling to his LPO players.

Jurowski's firm command served him well throughout the demanding program, starting with the Adagio from Mahler's Symphony No. 10  (the only movement fully completed before the composer's death). Although I would have liked even more whomp when the music reached the amazing passage of screaming dissonance toward the end, everything else registered in a thoroughly convincing and involving fashion as the conductor drew out one telling detail after another. The final moments, when Mahler seems to let go of all earthly cares, were molded with particularly sensitivity.

After an awfully long seating change, a reduced complement of players took their places for ...



Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 -- and unusual places at that, with all of the wind instruments grouped on one side of the piano. That turned out to be a terrific idea, visually and sonically, underlining the exquisite role those instruments play in this work. The soloist was Leon Fleisher, whose every performance is treasurable for the wealth of musical depth it reveals. A few little bumps aside, his playing was as technically poised as it was expressively potent. He achieved a transfixing beauty of phrase in the bittersweet slow movement. Jurowski partnered the pianist effortlessly, drawing gorgeous work from the orchestra.

The evening closed with an imaginative pairing of Ligeti's Atmospheres  and Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra,  linked together with no break. This nod to the works' use in 2001  wasn't some cheap marketing idea. You didn't even need to have any memory of that iconic film (personally, I always thought it was way over-praised -- perhaps because I never could make heads or tails of it). The diffuse clusters of sound in the time-stopping Ligeti score conjured up a kind of ancient, unfathomable cosmic space that slowly dissolved into nothing more than the breaths of brass players blowing note-lessly through the instruments, before the first rumbles of the Strauss piece signaled the approaching sun. Cool.

The LPO responded firmly to Jurowski's sure, nuanced direction, producing Ligeti's painstakingly crafted tone clusters deftly and digging into Zarathustra with a vivid spirit.

Quite a night.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 01:02:15 am by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
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Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
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Offline Meryl

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows and a little night music (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 12:22:39 am »
Thanks for those reviews, John!  It's always nice to know those know-it-all guys thought it was great, too.  8)
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Bergdorf's Windows and a little night music (February 27, 2009)
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2009, 12:57:39 pm »

Thanks John! (Jimmy?!)  The photos of the shop windows are amazing!  It truly is a kind of installation art/ stage craft.
:)

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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Thanks John! (Jimmy?!)  The photos of the shop windows are amazing!  It truly is a kind of installation art/ stage craft.
:)


Thanks, Amanda!



Thanks for those reviews, John!  It's always nice to know those know-it-all guys thought it was great, too8)


Meryl, the eggheads are at it again (gotta love'em)!  And thanks for my lesson in Tuesday's Prokofiev Gymkhana!  :D


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/arts/music/26prok.html?hp



Music Review
Gergiev Brings Prokofiev Passion to Avery Fisher



Valery Gergiev conducting the London Symphony Orchestra at at Avery Fisher Hall.


By ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Published: March 25, 2009


The conductor Valery Gergiev has been engaged in a lifelong campaign to convince the world beyond Russia that Prokofiev was a major opera composer, a cause he has brought to the Metropolitan Opera in recent years.

Mr. Gergiev has been an equally tireless champion of Prokofiev’s seven symphonies and is now waging that campaign at Avery Fisher Hall. On Monday and Tuesday nights he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in the first two of four programs surveying the complete Prokofiev symphonies, with performances of four concertos folded in. This series is not some thematic festival, but a total immersion in the symphonic Prokofiev.

The first two concerts were electrifying. Mr. Gergiev’s stunning insights into these scores are enhanced by his long experience conducting all of the Prokofiev operas and ballets at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. In 2004, three years before he became the principal conductor of the London Symphony, Mr. Gergiev recorded the symphonies live in concert with the orchestra. On this tour to New York, the dynamic, accomplished and adventurous London Symphony players dispatched these scores with even greater fervor and authority than captured on the recordings, released by Philips in 2006.

It made sense to begin at the beginning with the First Symphony, the “Classical,” from 1916-17. Yet, Mr. Gergiev was bent on altering perceptions about this popular piece. Forget about this work being a wrye homage to Haydn.

In the first movement, taken at a strikingly restrained tempo, Mr. Gergiev emphasized the weighty symphonic textures and the jabs of dissonance that pierce the diatonic harmonies. Complex cross-rhythms and layered inner voices came through with eerie clarity. This may not be the only way to approach the work. But I will never again be able to hear it played like a Neo-Classical delight without thinking the performance is playing it safe.

The leap that Prokofiev took with the Second Symphony in D minor, composed in the mid-1920s, was emphasized by the gnashing power and cool control of the performance that opened Tuesday’s program. Here was Prokofiev, living in Paris at the time, swept up in the radical currents of that hotbed of modernism. The first movement sounded like Prokofiev’s answer to the challenge of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,”  fashioned into a rigorously organized symphonic Allegro. The concluding second movement, an elaborate theme and variations, begins with a mournful melody over gently rocking strings and climaxes with a din of wailing harmony and aggressive busyness.

The seldom-heard Sixth Symphony, written in the immediate aftermath of World War II, finds the composer stubbornly rebellious in the face of the cultural crackdown by Soviet authorities. This somber, beleaguered piece — with its brutal outbursts and waves of spinning lyrical lines, at once aimless and inexorable — is considered a masterpiece by Prokofiev champions.

During the driving final episode of the piece Mr. Gergiev conducted with steely control, drawing incandescent playing from the orchestra. Daring silences that stopped the onslaught cold were held so long by Mr. Gergiev that the audience was too terrified to utter a sound. Naturally, the work was condemned by Soviet officials.

The Seventh Symphony, from 1951-52, which ended Tuesday’s program, was composed when Prokofiev was in declining health and chafing under authoritarian policies calling for art to reflect Socialist Realism. On the surface the piece behaves, with an elegiac first movement, followed by a toying Allegretto, a Mahlerian slow movement and a frenetic romp of a finale. But the subliminal content, full of bitter irony, was hard to miss in this haunting performance.

On Monday, Vladimir Feltsman was the soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 2, a rhapsodic and thrilling work that would surely be played as often as Rachmaninoff’s Second were it not three times as hard for a pianist. Mr. Feltsman’s performance was undermined by his tendency to apply too much cloying rubato to melodic lines. Still, he played with technical command, percussive power and impressive stamina.

The violinist Vadim Repin brought Russian flair and virtuosic charisma to the First Violin Concerto on Tuesday. This intelligent artist also found the beguiling grace of Prokofiev’s intriguingly subdued score. The ovation was so ardent that the dashing Scherzo movement was repeated as an encore. Mr. Repin will play the Second Concerto on the final concert on Monday night.
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"