What could be better than an afternoon of Balanchine at NYCB with music by Verdi, Hindemith and Tschaikovsky, dancing by Tiler Peck, et al. Have you seen the recent additions to the promenade, the rectangular area which overlooks the Lincoln Center fountain? I’ve never appreciated the fat white sculpted figures, two at each end of the promenade. Now, they’re festooned in polka dots. Behind them are gigantic videos that reflect polka dots. Is this a plea to youth? Who knows. In the middle of the promenade are puppet like figures revolving on a circle. These swayed gently and bobbed up and down. Somehow, they’re charming.
On an icy cold day a friend and I went to Zwirner Galeries wonderful hot exhibit, Concrete Cuba. The works are by a short lived group that existed from 1959 to 1961. Sandu Darie, one of the artists in the exhibit, had said, “This is concrete painting because each painting is a new reality.” This statement reinforces what I’ve always thought: artists should express themselves through their work.
I went to an afternoon concert at Carnegie Hall expecting to hear mezzo-soprano, Sarah Craft Nelson. What a surprise to open the program and discover I was about to hear the Bob Jones University Singers. Why not? Eventually, Sarah Nelson Craft appeared under the aegis of the Masterworks Festival Chorus and New York City Chamber Orchestra. Her lustrous voice soared and glided in Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Later in the day a friend and I indulged in Minetta Tavern’s marrow bones and the bartender’s traditional Tom Collins. Like Sardi’s the Minetta Tavern’s walls are covered with caricatures of well know and unknown and forgotten celebrities.
A Columbia alumnus and I went to the Cosmopolitan Club’s Library for a Columbia sponsored talk on George Eliot’s Middlemarch. The participants fell over themselves musing about women’s rights in nineteenth century England. Have you noticed how Middlemarch has become one of those books you MUST like? The Cosmopolitan’s library is a dream. It’s filled with books: fiction, non-fiction, weighty dictionaries, picture books. There are comfy chairs to flop in and read or daydream or gaze out the eighth floor windows at Manhattan.
A late afternoon CMS Spanish Dances concert at Alice Tully Hall rounded off a busy week. A Boccherini string quintet followed by Paganini’s Terzetto Concertante featured the fabulous classical guitarist, Jason Vieaux. After the intermission, Alessio Bax, the pianist and Benjamin Beilman, the violinist roared through several pieces by Falla and then topped their performance with Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano. Both performers are determined and exciting. I had given up a performance at Carnegie Hall to see Bax and was not disappointed.
About time: the Vatican finally recognized the State of Palestine.