• Upcoming Trips

    Feb-March None booked as yet
  • theatre and Concerts

    February 26. Saw concert versions of two my favourite Puccini operas at the MSM: La Rondine (Act I) and Gianni Schicchi. Both made the very most of the small stage and were cleverly directed by Kenneth Merrill from the side of the auditorium. The young cast had an hilarious time putting on the show – and so did  we!

    March 2. Saw “Twelve Angry Women”, a play on the well-travelled jury deliberations theme, at the Producers Club. It is fast moving, ding-dong exchange of ideas with “whodunnit” detective analyses interspersed. Sadly, only one of the twelves actresses really could project; the others could not, for the most part, be heard clearly enough for our old ears to pick up the nuances of the dialogue, even in the  Club’ s intimate auditorium.

    March 3.  Carnegie Hall hosted Edith Monaco in a solo piano recital on Sunday evening. She played a nice, but not too exciting,  programme  ending with Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an exhibition”. She seemed  totally concentrated on the accuracy of her playing and did not glance at, or turn the page of, the music in front of her.

    March 20. The MSM celebrated Pincus Zukerman’s 70th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his ‘Performance Program’. It was an extraordinary musical event: an awesome display of the incredible young talent that the Master and the MSM have nurtured.

    Of the solo violinists performing, the most exciting, for me, was  Jesus Reina who chose pieces by Paganini and played them in a manner reminiscent of Sarasate. But the highlight was Bach’s ‘Concerto for Two violins’; for the first movement, Mr. Zukerman led in his 12 year-old protégé, Nathan Gendler who played opposite the Master with the absolute confidence of an old hand who had begun his concerting at the age of six!

    For the second movement, Pincus Zukerman led in SoHyun Ko, a young lady of sixteen. She played her part with equal talent and confidence.

    The two youngsters played the third movement  by themselves (The Master staying off-stage while they wowed the sold-out audience!).

    The programme ended with Mr. Zukerman conducting the MSM Symphony Orchestra in Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic Dances’ and everybody (Orchestra and audience alike) singing him “Happy Birthday”!

     

     

     

     

     

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Blockhouse

On one of the brighter days last week, Christine and I took a walk in the park. We decided, for a change, to head north along the west side and, perhaps discover the Blockhouse which is tucked away in the north woods. In the 25 years or so that I have lived in the city, I had never found it! This time we were determined and asked directions of joggers; people who, usually, are well acquainted with the remoter bits of the park.

Following  a number of misleading  directions we came upon it. There was not much to see. It is the oldest fortification left over from the Revolutionary and 1812 wars and one was struck by the intimacy of conflict in those days–No death-dealing missiles swooping out of the sky from nowhere; your enemy was there in front of you within the boundaries of the future park. You glimpsed him through the gun-slits in the rectangular walls and, I imagine, had to shut out the thought that it was a fellow-countryman you were trying to kill?

18th century Blockhouse . . .

 

The one, and only, secure entrance to the fort . . .

 

This view from the Blockhouse would have would have astounded even the most prescient of revolutionaries!

 

 

 

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