Sunday, March 27, 2011
Last night I went to Lincoln Center (see above photo of The Metropolitan Opera House and below photo of the Revson Fountain and David H. Koch Theater) to enjoy a concert by the New York Philharmonic at Alice Tully Hall.
The concert was entitled "Hungarian Echoes IV" and included Haydn's Symphony No. 8, Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 1, Ligeti's Clocks and Clouds, and Bartok's Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin. I was looking forward to the more traditional Haydn piece that was scheduled to open the concert. It was melodic and beautiful to listen to, and the 21 minutes of the piece flew by.
The two Bartok pieces were a little more difficult to listen to, but they were dramatic and powerful. The program explanations of the composer's life and the pieces themselves made the music more meaningful and appreciable as well. The harmonic and alien sounds of the Ligeti piece made that piece interesting for me, but my brother had a laugh attack and had to apologize to his neighbors for his hysterical laughter. I would have to agree that the Ligeti piece was foreign-sounding and a bit ridiculous (12 women singing unrecognizable sounds were the focus), but the program's background on Ligeti, including that Stanley Kubrick had used his music in his 1968 film "2001: Space Odyssey," had prepared me to be open minded to what was coming.
In any event, if you are not into avant garde music and are not certain of the music by their titles (like me), I would recommend that rather than purchasing tickets online, you may want to check with the sales person and call for tickets to make sure the performance you are considering is to your taste. If you are frank with them, they can really be helpful in steering you to the right concert. A good live orchestra concert can really move you; I've been brought to tears, overwhelmed by the beauty of certain orchestral pieces.
This past winter, I also attended "The Magic Flute" opera at the Metropolitan Opera House and a few years ago I attended a ballet at the Koch Theater. Lincoln Center also has outdoor dance classes and dances in the summer and hosts the Big Apple Circus as well. Right around the holidays, they also host the West Point or Canadian Brass Bands and have a fabulous holiday concert (although last year I preferred the holiday brass concert at the theater at The Metropolitan Museum). There is something for everyone here, so if you are of the mind to "get a little culture" I would highly recommend checking out www.new.lincolncenter.org/live/.
I plan to take an art and architecture tour of Lincoln Center in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, and I'll report back on what I find. I have high hopes!