Wednesday, May 06, 2009

New York City is a Constellation of Magic Moments

I've been going through the New York City Documentary and that was one line that stood out to me. This past week has been filled with all kinds of activities that would never happen this close together, except in NYC. Here's what I did last week:
  • New York Philharmonic plays Pines of Rome. An excellent production, and they even brought in extra brass to play in the two antiphonal lofts above the stage.

  • Renee Fleming and Anne-Sophie Mutter played music of Andre Previn in Carnegie Hall to celebrate Previn's 80th birthday. Previn himself conducted, and it was music that he had composed specifically for these two artists previously.

  • Nathan Lane and John Goodman star in Waiting for Godot. I had never read this before but I did read the play before going to see it. It's worth reading, go check it out from the library. Some have called itthe most significant play of the 20th century. If it doesn't make you think about how you're spending your days, go get the cliff notes.

  • The Good Guy was so popular at the TriBeCa Film Festival that they added an extra showing of it, so I went to see that. It's a very cool NYC story, and the writer/director Julian DePietro was present after the movie to do a Q&A about how he came up with the concept, what production was like, etc.

  • NYC Ballet performed The Firebird. I'd performed the music for this several times and it remains one of my favorite symphonic pieces, but I'd never seen the ballet performed. NYC ballet always has great costumes and set designs, and of course amazing dancers. In fact the backdrops and costumes for NYC Ballet were originally designed by Chagall. We had dinner at one of Manhattan's best Korean restaurants, Cho Dang Gol. Great food, and bottles of korean rice wine are only $7 right now!

  • Dinner at Picholine, one of NYC's few 2-star Michelin restaurants. We followed this by seeing Joshua Bell perform the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto #3. He has been called a living legend, and I can definitely understand why. He is without a doubt the best violin player I've ever seen live. If you ever get a chance to see him, take it, even if you're not really into classical music. It's so rare to see someone this good at anything.

  • God of Carnage, starring James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis.

Sophocles said that you have to wait until the evening to tell whether or not it was a good day. Looking back on the week I'd say it was one of my best weeks in NYC so far.


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