Sunday, November 21, 2010

The BSO Takes a Bite of the Big Apple

What an amazing weekend! Perfect weather, a pleasant bus ride, an excellent hotel (no bed bug reports as of yet), great restaurants, only a few delayed metro service stories...oh, and the concerts! BSO went to the Big City, and showed them (and the world) that we're still in top form, and just as capable of pulling off an excellent concert of classics (read NY Times review), as we did on Saturday night, as we are of bringing the house down with a boisterous rendition of the gospel version of Handel's Messiah (read review), as was the case on Sunday afternoon. Both in front of full houses of very pleased patrons who weren't afraid to show us that they liked it. It was so fun for us to play twice in two days in that legendary Carnegie Hall, with its impeccable acoustics and discriminating audiences.
On Saturday, the Barber Essay # 2 started off elegantly, and ended with all of Carnegie's decorations vibrating with our full sound. Our piano soloist in Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto, Macedonian Simon Trpceski, outdid himself in his debut with some amazing fireworks, and showed that soloists can still play chamber music with an orchestra, even in virtuoso pieces. After intermission, in Mahler's rendition of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, we achieved some incredible pianissimos, the kind which only top orchestras can do, just to end with forceful chords that had to invite an encore, bringing people to their feet. We all enjoyed a wonderful reception with many of our biggest fans and donors in an elegant Italian restaurant nearby.

Merriment couldn't last too long though, because on Sunday morning we had to get moving for a rehearsal of the Too Hot to Handel program. A few of us took a walk through Central Park before the afternoon concert. It was full of people, brought out by an amazing day.

In this post are a couple of photos I took while strolling around, hope you enjoy them and the fall colors.

Me, Chris Williams (Principal Percussion and Timpani),
Ken Goldstein (First Violin)

Then it was off to a different kind of concert, with a stage full of NYC kids that had been practicing for months, so they could be proud of their choral debut with us, in Carnegie Hall. What a feeling that must have been for them! They met and surpassed all of the expectations, and the audience was, once again, brought to their feet as Marin Alsop coaxed them to make even more noise, leading us to a rousing finale.

The buses returned late Sunday night, and now it's time for a couple days off before starting some new repertoire.

-Ivan Stefanovic

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