• 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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“Messiah Reimagined” at St. Jean Baptiste Church on Park Lane, New York

For a pre-Christmas treat, we went to hear the NYC Master Chorale and MSM Chamber Sinfonia in an unusual rendering of Handel’s “Messiah”:

The beautifully appointed St. John Baptiste church made a most impressionable backdrop for the music . . . .  Christine took this picture on her mobile phone! . . . . 

 

The reimagined version made this Messiah a little difficult to follow but, at the end, the three chorus groups plus the whole  church audience  stood up and sang a truly rousing Hallelujah Chorus!

This panoramic picture was taken, at Christine’s request, by a neighbouring audience member  . . . . . it shows off more of the  extraordinary craftsmanship on the ceiling.

Christine and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all: HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW  YEAR!  Love to everyone, Ben.

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. May you and Christine have a marvelous holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year love Amy

    On Mon, Dec 10, 2018, 3:27 PM Thompson’s Travels Ben Thompson posted: “For a pre-Christmas treat, we went to hear the NYC > Master Chorale and MSM Chamber Sinfonia in an unusual rendering of Handel’s > “Messiah”: The reimagined version made this Messiah a little difficult to > follow but, at the end, the three cho” >

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