What a beautiful day!
I slipped away to Manhattan, taking the 7:10 Amtrak train and arrived just before 11am. I popped down to the village (seeing some inspiration for my planned Manhattan Suite for violin)
and went to brunch at Shopsins. Yum-o! I took Teller's recommendation of ebelskivers (a Norwegian sort of pancake) and was so delighted (I went with the chocolate and whipped cream variation - hey, it's all apart of my 36th birthday celebration!)
I was meeting a friend for coffee before the concert, which got moved to after the concert - so I enjoyed a cigar in front of Carnegie Hall.
My friend Kirsten Agresta (the young harpist - inside joke) soloed in Debussy's Sacred and Profane Dances. I have to say honestly it was the best thing on the program. A high school from Florida (I think) opened the concert with three selections for strings. (They were very, uhm, young.) Then an intermission for stage set/changing groups - next was the New England Symphonic Ensemble with a male chorus and baritone soloist in Debussy's Invocation and a Durufle Mass. Both okay. At least the Durufle was well written. Another intermission. Now the combined choirs (several high schools from all over) marched on stage. They also brought out the harp, woohoo! Kirsten's reading was a charming and able rendition, with great dynamics, incredibly flowing lines and enough originality of interpretation to keep it fresh and yet traditional.
Poulenc's Gloria that rounded out the program wasn't the case - a bti overdone and very amateur. It also clocked in at several hours, when a very nice program length would have been the Debussy Invocation, Dances Sacred and Profane and then the Durufle Mass. But then their wouldn't have been the en masse voices, et al. Oh well, I was very happy to go, and to hear Kirsten live.
Afterwards I did get to meet up with a radio business friend and touch base - a good conversation - we have lots of mutual contacts and friends, besides artists, so it was fun to talk shop in a very relaxed setting.
By this time I had enough time to slip down to Penn Station, grab a slice of NY Pizza and get on the train. Now I'm back in Harrisburg, ready for a new week - albeit busy: Lang Lang Tuesday in Philadelphia and back Sunday for TWO concerts, Perlman & Zukerman at the Kimmel Center and then that Sunday night, Orchestra 2001 - where I'll get to meet Augusta Read Thomas in person finally. (Oh, Saturday is Market Square concerts in Hbg with the Miro 4tet, will be cool as well!)