My first classical experience at Carnergie Hall; Shostakovich
Mar 1, 2007 at 3:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

kwitel

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I watched the "New World Symphony" (87-piece) perform Sho's 5th Symphony last night at Carnegie Hall and all i can say (once I got up off the floor) was WOW.
Granted, i had never witnessed classical music live before so this almost assuredly would be a jaw dropping experience.
That it was.
What a beauty the 5th is to begin with, but to hear it live adds a multiple of new dimensions to the experience.
 
Mar 1, 2007 at 4:23 PM Post #2 of 8

Bunnyears

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Nothing beats the experience of a live performance and the accoustic of Carnegie Hall is world famous. When you hear the music live, there is an excitement that just can't be duplicated by a recording, moreover, all those great big bass waves that are generated by the tympany and double basses actually get the floor buzzing.

Welcome to the world of the classical concert -- be warned, it's more addictive than headphones and cds, so I'll just say now,I'm VERY sorry for your wallet! It's also a lot more expensive than headphones, audio equipment and cds.
 
Mar 1, 2007 at 4:32 PM Post #3 of 8

Bunnyears

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Btw, here's the NYTimes review; apparently you heard an extraordinary concert!
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From the NYTimes:

It has become accepted wisdom that building a great orchestra is a long-term process. Maybe so. But as the thrilling all-Shostakovich concert by the New World Symphony at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday night made clear, the slow-and-steady approach is not the only route to orchestral greatness. [...]

The most revealing performance, after intermission, was of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. This work generally comes across as permeated with unnerving ambiguity. Does the music’s harmonically tamer and populist style represent the composer’s cave-in to the 1936 denunciation from the Soviet mouthpiece Pravda over the audacious modernism of his earlier work? Or are the symphony’s episodes of poignant longing and brutish vigor, capped by a suspiciously triumphant final flourish, meant to be taken as bitterly ironic?

I have seldom heard such a fascinatingly unambiguous performance as this arresting account. From the opening of the first movement, with the somber, two-part contrapuntal statement in a sharply dotted rhythm, the playing was emphatic and frank. The heavy-footed Scherzo had lacerating power. The anguished slow movement was shaped with affecting understatement.

In the finale Mr. Thomas elicited steely and ferocious playing from the excited players. Throughout the performance, every time I began to fear that Mr. Thomas was pushing the players too far, going for blasting power at the expense of subtlety, something amazingly nuanced would happen, like the near-perfect voicing and unshakably steady intonation of the subdued string chords during the poignant ending of the slow movement.

The orchestra showed even more depth in the concerto. As Mr. Ma played the searching ruminations of the first movement with rich tone and overwhelming vulnerability, the orchestra was attentive to his every shift and turn. After the jazzy and fidgety second movement, when the third movement began with a fractured brass fanfare, Mr. Ma conveyed that we were entering unhinged emotional terrain, continuing right through the final Allegretto, which seemed like some strangely quizzical march.


Now I'm just sorry that I couldn't go to this concert as well as my subscription concerts.
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Mar 1, 2007 at 6:54 PM Post #4 of 8

robm321

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Congrats! That must have been an event that won't soon be forgetten.... or maybe ever.
 
Mar 4, 2007 at 7:17 PM Post #5 of 8

JayG

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The New World Symphony is incredible. I've been to several of their concerts at their home in Miami, and they were all extremely satisfying. When you put together a group of the top-tier recent graduates from major conservatories who are still very excited about their profession, along with an energetic and talented music director, you have a recipe for success.

-Jay
 
Mar 5, 2007 at 12:06 AM Post #6 of 8

Thelonious Monk

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i wish i had more free time to go to classical concerts... i had lots of good experiences at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis, though. i hope you enjoy your foray into live classical music!
 
Mar 5, 2007 at 2:15 AM Post #7 of 8

38special

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Glad to hear you enjoyed an awesome performance in a classic theater. It's a shame I wasn't able to visit Carnegie Hall while I was in NY last summer - gotta add it to my list for my next visit!
 
Mar 5, 2007 at 3:25 AM Post #8 of 8

kwitel

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From what all you guys are reporting here, seems like I accidentally fell upon a great performance at an amazing theater.
I say that since I had never heard classical music played live before and niether had heard of the New World Symphony nor had I grasped the legendary status of Carnegie.
Also, what I failed to state above was that for the first hour of the show the composer gave a "class" on the 5th and Shostakovich's background. He explained in detail, his veiw point on what Shosty was thinking and what he meant to "portray?" with each and every part of the four movements. He would discuss the pice then play a small clip and go right back to explaining.
That, in conjunction to a slide show on a huge screen right behinf the ochestra made for a very intersteg and informative experience.
All that said im now completely hooked and I very much look forward to the next performance.
Turns out that a co-worker/buddy of mine who happens to be a classicly trained pianist, has a friend who works at Carnegie and gets free tickets to all the shows.
Looks like I may be taking advantage of that relationship very soon.
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