Short Notes on Musical Treats in New York City

One of the most frequent ways that I nurture myself so that I can be of service to others in my private practice is by attending selected musical performances of mostly  classic jazz , classical and baroque orchestral and chamber music.

Last week I was musically blessed to not only experience the superb  live jazz of the Cedar Walton Quartet  (featuring Cedar Walton on piano, David Williams on bass, Vincent Herring on saxophone and contra saxophone, and Willie Jones III on the drums) at Birdland, http://www.birdland.com, but I also saw the NY Philharmonic  performing my very favorite Beethoven Symphony #7.

One of the factors that makes regular attendance at concerts of the NY Philharmonic so interesting and compelling for me is that so many of the very most talented performers and conductors from all parts of the world share their musical  passions in my home town.

What was really special for me about the  Beethoven and Stravinsky concert last week was my introduction to David Zinman the conductor who has been the director of the  Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich for the past seventeen years.

Here is part of what the program said about him.

David Zinman’s career has been distinguished by his programming of a broad repertoire, his strong commitment to the performance of contemporary music, and his introduction of historically informed performance practice. He is in his 17th season as music director of Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra. He has conducted all of the leading North American orchestras, including the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, as well as the New York Philharmonic. In Europe he performs with the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment. He also has relationships with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Symphony, London Philharmonic, and Philharmonia orchestras, as well as Orchestre de Paris, and Orchestre National de France. His most recent opera performance was a production of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann at Geneva Opera in March 2010, to be revived in late 2011.

His complete musical bio, which includes a list of awards and honors given to the maestro, can be found  here http://nyphil.org/attend/season/index.cfm?page=eventDetail&eventNum=2352&seasonNum=11&mI=0&sI=0;effortcode=031212A

Since the 7th Symphony is one of my favorites I can hear the whole score in my head as the orchestra is performing the music. What was sheer delight for me in this instance was that although I knew the notes, the phrasing and complexion of the music was significantly different from any other version I have ever heard. It was so vibrant that I was entranced and exhilerated.

What is different about Zinman’s direction is that he apparently was one of the first conductors to use Beethoven’s own notations for the score rather than the common applications which have all interpreted what the conductors thought the composer might have been striving towards in the composition.

I found this U-tube commentary on  Zinman’s Beethoven by Alan Gilbert, musical director of the NY Philharmonic to be really interesting. I hope that it will be as enjoyable for you.

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