Friday, April 08, 2005

An Oasis in the City

So my plan to have a blog entry without doing any work was a total washout. Oh well. I finally have some time to write here before rushing off to do something else.

And in subway news....Here's the statement from NYC transit about yesterday's track fire and subway rescue operation: "Today's incident is not emblematic of any system-wide breakdown or lack of maintenance. The only common denominator in these four incidents is that we inconvenienced our riders, and for that we are profoundly sorry." It's so galling, as usual, to see how this will only continue if that stupid stadium deal goes through. I don't know how it's possible that people will put up with this hand-over of what could be a major benefit to the public to some more rich people.
Speaking of handing things over to rich people, I finally watched Frontline's documentary on credit cards yesterday. Wow! I was surprised that it contained all kinds of things that I didn't know: for instance, the way the industry will change an interest rate on a card that you have with them if you make a late payment on another card with a different bank - or if you begin to carry a high balance on another card, thus hurting your credit score.

In oasis news....I cannot say enough about how wonderful it is to go to an open rehearsal of the NY Philharmonic. I spent yesterday morning sitting happily in Avery Fisher Hall with my Mother listening to Shostokovich, and then to Mitsuko Uchida play Beethoven's Piano Concerto #4. She was truly one of the best musicians I have ever seen play live; it was so clear that she was serious student of the music she was playing, and it was marvelous to watch her play. After playing the short beginning to the first movement, she hopped off the piano bench, off the stage, and then ran up the theater aisle and to the back and then came back to her seat just in time to play the rest of the first movement. As she played, she bounced up and down on the bench, and seemed to punch her hand in the air after completing a very fast passage, though I think this may have just been a kind of "follow through." To me, She seems to be listening so intently to the music that her playing is itself a kind of listening. She is precise in an effort to capture an historically accurate sound, but she is not cold or intellectual in the least. You can listen to some samples of a recording she made on amazon. I like the way one of the amazon reviewers (Grady Harp) described it; "The opening of the Largo of the #3 seems to emerge from the center of the earth and then blossom with the most elegant of phrasing details." That combination of precision and intellectual seriousness with a deep and sensitive kind of feeling is so rare in a musician of any type.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, you're so right about our morning adventure at Lincoln Center. Of the concerts I've attended over many many years (I'm your mom so the years do go back....) this rehearsal of the Philharmonic was otherworldly -- only the music mattered, the "show" was irrelevant, and it was beautiful.