On Wednesday night we attended the opening of Carnegie Hall,
but because we liked what they were performing.The huge crowd overloaded the still congested approach to our seats but we’re used to it by now; it’s the price we pay for retaining this great hall with its wonderful sound.
The Berlin Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle for a decade now, gave us romantic music on the grand scale–starting with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances Opus 45. This was his last work and we found it a bit extended, but interesting, orchestrated with no fewer than three harps and two gongs.
The final work consisted of the closing scenes from Stravinsky’s Firebird, with the stupendous ending rousing the Hall and leaving us hungry for more of it.
(carnegiehall.org) The rather short program was performed without a break so that the gala attendees could get to their dinner and that was fine with us. We usually try to avoid the crush at the inadequate bathrooms anyway.
Would we rather have heard some meat-and-potatoes fare from the Berlin, perhaps a Brahms Symphony? maybe, but this was fine and it showcased a great orchestra and a first rate conductor.