Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tchaikovsky is Boring: Talking Over the New York Philharmonic in Prospect Park

Posted By on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

New York Philharmonic Prospect Park
Despite the pessimistic forecasts—and a 10-minute afternoon downpour—the rains held off yesterday evening, allowing the New York Philharmonic's annual concert in Prospect Park to go on. While the sun was still out there were more dragonflies than usual, almost reaching horror movie-level saturation. ("Daddy, what's that?" one little girl asked, pointing at one. "That's a moth. A bee. A firefly. A dragonfly, I think," he answered.) And it was too cloudy for starlight. But considering that the Long Meadow could have been swampground, who's complaining?

The evening began with Dvorak's "Cello Concerto," a fine work but perhaps not enough to hold the audience's attention: during the second movement, the girl in front of me started checking a TMZ (!) app. But, hell, as the last movement quietly wound down (before a big finish), a firefly hovered for a moment in front of my face, fluoresced, then flew on. Who cares what they're playing?

Well, I do; after intermission, they played Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, his sad and angry and ultimately jubilant masterpiece. But even this failed to hold the audience's attention, leading me to believe it wasn't the music but the crowd; there was a lot of chattering, getting worse as the piece reached its final-movement climax. When it ended, everyone applauded (the talkers louder than everyone else), and then everyone shut the fuck up as a light show began overhead, captivating the audience in a way Tchaikovsky never could. "Everyone shuts up for the fireworks," one guy said loudly, "but you talked all through the music." Laughter. Otherwise, only the dogs, terrified, made any sound.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

New York Philharmonic Prospect Park

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

More by Henry Stewart

  • The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

    From a Argentinean movie you'll maybe never get another chance to see, to the first really long Lav Diaz movie.
    • Oct 15, 2014
  • The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

    Brando does Shakespeare, Hou does history, Capra does populism and Georgian cinema re-does Stalin.
    • Oct 8, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 4 Art Exhibits You Need to See

    In which Francesco Clemente appears with Nas and Patti Smith, and in which certain picks are prefaced by anti-picks.
    • Oct 9, 2014
  • The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

    Brando does Shakespeare, Hou does history, Capra does populism and Georgian cinema re-does Stalin.
    • Oct 8, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared Stories

Top Viewed Stories

Top Topics in The Measure

Film (15)


Art (5)


Music (5)


© 2014 The L Magazine
Website powered by Foundation