New York Philharmonic: Central Park 16 June 2016

This is another concert that I know I took notes for. I cannot find the program anywhere in my house and that’s where I wrote everything down. It’s probably with one of my spoons that also mysteriously disappeared.

Every year I plan to see the New York Philharmonic in Central Park, which is free and one of the wonderful traditions in NYC. Most years I don’t make it. But when I do, I always enjoy myself. One year rtb and I were sitting on the other side of the fence from the VIP section and my friend Joe showed up with his friend, who was a NYC Parks Dept. employee and we were able to get on the other side of the fence. We sat off to the side and in the back but it was still a great spot. This year I was contacted by my friend Linda – she had won two VIP tickets to the show and couldn’t use them. Would I like to go? Would I! I invited rtb to come along with me and we got to walk up to the front by the stage and sit behind the chairs (my guess is the folding chairs are set up for the big contributors). rtb had her blanket and we brought food (there were small shopping bags of food that I assumed were for the super-VIPs but I didn’t ask). It was so nice to be so incredibly close to the stage. Except for that one other time, we’re always way in the back and everyone around continues their conversations all through the concert. All the people in the VIP section were quiet and it was great to be able to really hear the music.

The program this year was Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica. The great Alan Gilbert conducted. Now I know I had very detailed notes about each of the pieces – my feelings about them and the moods they struck. I can tell you that I enjoyed myself immensely.

And usually no matter where we sit our view for the fireworks is blocked by the trees. But this time we had the best view ever for the fireworks.

[Edit] Found my notes. I didn’t take as detailed notes as I’d thought I did but here goes.

As I mentioned, up front the audience is quiet. It was so quiet that you could hear the birds in the trees singing during especially quiet parts.

It’s only at these outdoor concerts that the audience claps between movements. I’m not sure why.

A woman standing behind me on line for the bathroom said she’d been going to these concerts for 30 years and this was her first time in the VIP section. She was so happy about it and she was so nice. I was very happy for her that she could have this experience.

It had rained earlier in the day but the weather for the concert was perfect. I’ve been there when it was horribly hot and humid. And I’ve been there when it’s rained.

The Overture to Fidelio was short and sweet. The Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde had a very familiar melody. I think it’s usually used for lovers and it may have been used in a cartoon. This performance literally gave me chills. Symphony No. 3, Eroica was originally written as a tribute to Napoleon and Bonaparte was in the title but Napoleon crowned himself Emperor just as it was completed, so Beethoven took Napoleon’s name off and renamed it. There was something about the music that made me think of France and it very much felt like it was written for a Frenchman.





By Carene Lydia Lopez