Saturday, October 27, 2007

Five Things about the NY Pops

I heard the New York Pops Friday evening with Pip Clarke, Michael Feinstein and maestro Stuart Malina at Carnegie Hall.
1. The night began with a patron leading the National Anthem. Stuart Malina joked it was his first student to conduct at Carnegie Hall. It set the mood for a great evening of music and fun.
2. Next up a stirring tribute to the chairman of the NY Pops board, who passed away recently. They played his favorite piece, the Roumanian Rhapsody #1 by Georges Enescu. Bravo!
3. The program continued with the evening's theme, movie music. Tempos were bright and also included some arrangements by Skitch Henderson.
4. Pip Clarke played Korngold's Violin Concerto, which uses themes from movie scores like Anthony Adverse and Captains Courageous. Things didn't gel well, with the oddest interpretation I think I've heard - especially puzzling was Clarke's over the top spiccato which neither worked musically or sonically. I wish more care had been taken with transitions.
5. After intermission, Michael Feinstein entertained, dazzled and tickled the ivories, and sang his heart out. Especially touching a song by Henry Mancini dedicated to Mrs. Mancini who was there, and great banter to introduce the songs. Malina and the Pops were always spot on with Feinstein and by the end of the night you wanted more.

The audience was electric Friday night, with high school students, Harrisburg supporters for Malina and a wide range of ages.

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