And More Summertime with the NYP

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And More Summertime with the NYP

Post by Ralph » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:10 pm

A 5PM start for today's second New York Philharmonic Summertime concert (second performance-one last night). Bramwell Tovey again conducted with zest and humor to a surprisingly full house given the exultantly beautiful weather.

We live in the Age of Apologies and even in Avery Fisher Hall that now common custom is entrenched. Tovey began by relaying "a sincere apology" from Tony Blair for 1776. He then remarked that had we not severed our allegiance to England we might today have Charles and Camilla instead of George and Laura. Surprisingly, this got a heavy round of applause.

Today's theme was "New York, New York" and that signature song, especially orchestrated for the NYP, launched the concert. Then followed Gershwin's "Walking the Dog," a short, sprightly piece.

Bernstein's 1954 Symphonic Suite from the score for "On the Waterfront" came next, well played. Tovey remarked that as a young conductor he did the piece with Bernstein gyrating right next to him. He said he was terrified. He asked orchestra members who had performed this work under Bernstein to raise their hand and it was touching to see how many had.

Three well-known Leroy Anderson lollipops followed, "Fiddle Faddle," "The Penny-Whistle Song" and the very familiar "Bugler's Holiday." Principal Trumpet Philip Smith was ill and Acting Associate Principal Thomas V. Smith made his solo debut and performed very nicely alongside English Horn Thomas Stacy.

Copland's "Quiet City" suite got an outstanding reading. Finally a group of jazz musicians not normally seen with the Philharmonic performed Bernstein's "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" with half-century plus NYP clarinetist Stanley Drucker. Drucker sprinted onto the stage.

For an encore, "In the Mood," a favorite with most of the audience. But there were also lots of young people today who clearly liked this old Glenn Miller standard.

A very enjoyable concert.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

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