2.24.2013

WINTRY GREY TONES: EMPIRE STATE, CENTRAL PARK, CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER


The misty moisty mornings and evenings of late winter in New York City put me in a wandering mood so I set out under an umbrella and found a ravishing landscape. A favorite building shimmers, ghostlike, as if at the edge of memory.


I like to visit certain trees in Central Park throughout the year, just to say hello, admire them, inquire after their health. This one is caught in metamorphosis of root to rock and the rain shades and blurs the lines of reality.


And bubblers. Water fountains. Remember them? No plastic. Immunity booster. Community booster. This one is at Lincoln Center where I wandered in out of a downpour and on a whim bought a ticket to a Chamber Music Society concert, as I had never heard the septet version of Richard Strauss' achingly beautiful Metamorphosen. Composed in 1945, for 23 solo strings, Strauss was in "mourning for Munich"--the opera theatre there and in Dresden had been destroyed, as had the house of his birth, along with the Goethe House, which Strauss called "the holiest house in the world."

All the musicians were excellent, the two young cellists were especially so; Efe Baltacigil is currently the principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, for those of you lucky enough to live there. An additional bonus were two instruments of unparalleled sonority. Efe played a Francesco Rugieri cello made in Cremona in 1680 and given to him by a Turkish sponsor (a wink of Orhan Pamuk karma.) The other cellist, equally lyrical in his musicianship, Li-Wei Qin, played a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello. 

17 comments:

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mjhdesignarts said...

Hi Dominique, Beautiful photos and your description of the chamber music makes me imagine that I was there. Spring is definitely in the wind. Mary

William said...

I like your Empire State Building shot. It vaguely reminds me of Georgia O'Keeffe's Radiator Building painting....

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Jane said...

There is so much to feel grateful for, thanks to you for sharing these little bits of beauty.

JSBB said...

What a privilege to "wander" through NYC with you -- great images of F-ebb-ruary in the city. I quickly visited You Tube to hear the Strauss in its septet version, which I did not know -- it pares the loss and remembrance of Munich and Dresden to the bone. From Rosenkavalier to the Four Last Songs, no one ever captured melancholy as he did. We've all had something that was sacred, but tragically it did not last forever. Now it is best to fill our heart with joy and wonder in recollecting it, and move on with hope that some new and different wonder will appear.

Your mention of the celli and the Turkish connection puts me in mind of a recent concert we attended here in the Boston area -- Dünya, a largely Turkish ensemble (the name means "the world..") playing strings, winds, and percussion from ancient manuscripts found in Istanbul and Asia minor, along with medieval songs of European troubadours. Some instruments were built solely from images found on ancient miniature paintings. A short lively video taken at WGBH Public Radio studio is online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8lG-Xkv3cw, but like any music, it's best to hear it live. If you ever have a chance...


Thanks for the outing, Dominique.

June O'Reilly said...

I love the way trees and rocks intermingle :~)
the reaching and the wrapping
and I love the way you go check up on the trees :~) ... they do appreciate it
they thrive better when they know people care,
you captured a lovely connection between them

thanks for the stroll

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