I'm writing a short entry at Kudo Beans, a great coffee shop on the lower east side (3rd street at 1st Avenue-tell 'em John sent you).
Last night's NY Philharmonic concert did not disappoint, and violinist Gil Shaham continues to prove he is the world's greatest living violinist. Mozart's 2nd Concerto and Stravinsky's Concerto were played with much thought and virtuosity. Shaham continues to astound, bringing new insights to pieces that warrant such attention, especially the Stravinsky. I think we all wanted more with Gil, but after the two concerti (separated by intermission) despite the standing ovation and all the curtain calls he didn't give us an encore (and that's okay.)
The Philharmonic honored Leonard Bernstein on the anniversary of his death (October 14th, 1990) with a crisp reading of his Candide Overture (it wasn't advertised previously and I hadn't looked at my program, so it was a great surprise! I had wondered before the concert why the trombone player and picolo player were practicing Candide, thinking, oh they must be playing it soon, hahahaha, little did I know!) They also did it without a conductor!
Seeing conductor David Robertson was another joy, he is truly on the leading edge of American maestros. Impeccable taste and good music making came through the entire evening. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the Linz Symphony, but it was a delight - what had sold me was Gil Shaham playing two awesome concerti on the program, but the rest of the program really sparkled. It was certainly interesting to see the Dumbarton Oaks Concerto with one on a part - it captured the essence of Stravinsky! Kudos to Robertson for pairing it down to the essentials. (He also kept it moving along nicely with nary a moment between movements.)
Okay, off to Penn station to get back to Hburg to hear the Juilliard String Quartet. What a life I lead!