• 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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Carving

I have, at last, completed a panel which I started to carve about thirty years ago when Dorothy and I moved into the Waterford. I had finished decorating the living room and Dorothy had topped it off by sewing drapes for the balcony doors. It turned out, though, that woodcarving was far too messy a process for apartment dwelling–the chips got everywhere We decided that our art education was better done in a studio and that is when we joined The National Academy; me, to take up sculpting and Dorothy to her oil painting.

This summer allowed me almost unlimited access to the balcony where wood chips could fly away into the breeze (beyond my conscience). A couple of snags, however; my carving skills and the muscles needed to sustain them, required a rapid reworking and error correction, and, more importantly, it became plain that my eyesight was nowhere near as accurate as it used to be. The result is somewhat labored and amateurish but, I am now calling it finished and am reasonably satisfied with my late-career effort–a memorial to  all the work we had put in thirty years ago when Dorothy and I planned to stay only five years before we moved to sunnier climes.

 

City view from 41B

 

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Well done Ben. You and Dorothy were quite the sophisticates, a lovely memory.

  2. Ben, I enjoyed your post on finishing your 30 year carving project. Your love of Dorothy and your wonderful life experience in Manhatten is reflected in the carving. I look forward to seeing it on my next visit. I was also surprised to learn that you planned to leave New York after five years.
    Cheers, Craig

    • Craig. Dorothy and I thought that we would have exhausted the delights of Manhattan in five years or so–then we planned to move to a sunny beach village with an opera house and an airport nearby. We never found such a combination which could draw us away from Central Park and the 92nd Street “Y” Cheers! Ben

  3. I am very impressed with your wood carving… I would not have guessed or see any errors. Congratulations, you’ve done another fine job!
    Nereida Munoz

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