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.