By now you all have a pretty good idea of how much I love good music.
I want you all to know that I do not write about every performance that I attend. I actually do spare you information about the so-so evenings when the best part of the event is my getting home to relax.
I think that I have been really lucky for the past few months because there have been so many performances that leave me thrilled.
Weeks later I recall the performances, one at a time, and my heart just sings with excitement. I feel such a wave of gratitude that I live in this amazing city and I am able to fill every cell of my being with celestial music reproduced right here on earth.
Last week, on November 29th, I experienced the magic of Jeffrey Kahane as both conductor and pianist/ harpsichordist with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.
The program was ideal for me- Bach’s Concerto in D minor for Oboe, Violin and Strings, (with soloists Cheryl Staples on violin and Liang Wang on oboe) Mozart’s Symphony No. 33, and Beethoven’s piano Concerto No. 1 in C major.
It was fascinating watching Kahane simultaneously conduct and play either the piano or the harpsichord. But what was evident in every subtle movement of his body that he used to coordinate the rest of the orchestra, was the integration of his body, mind, emotional and maybe even spiritual being.
One tiny nuance of movement would perfectly describe the quality he was trying to elicit from the performers. He looked like he was dancing and weaving a tapestry of texture and variation.
The level of mastery, excellence and wholeness catalyzed wonderful performances by all of the musicians . I could feel the quality of entrainment.
This level of musical conversation and entrainment amongst the performers reminds me of the listening that is essential in with all kinds of musicians, dancers, and all performers working together as a unit. This level of communication is what we all aspire to achieve and maintain in our life relationships.
I am reminded of the post I wrote after I went to see George Cables, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington at the Kitano Hotel in August 2011. https://merylchodoshweiss.com/2011/08/26/more-new-york-city-nightlife-more-jazz/If you can recall I linked that post to an eloquent post on psychotherapist Jeffery Levine’s blog where he discusses the kind of listening that the trio’s musical entrainment produced. I just re-read his article and it is relevant here as well.
Often I will experience wonderful conductors with the gifted New York Philharmonic, but it is not so often that the very best of that orchestra is something that I can tangibly feel.
Here are two U-Tube items so you can see and hear the artists themselves discussing just what I have finished writing about!
This one is great because it picks up on the theme of musical communications and conversation.
As I watched Kahane speaking about the Mozart symphony on this clip it underscores what I had experienced at the performance.
Finally here is the New York Times review of the concert which gives further information about Kahane.