Philharmonic OrchestraLast night was pretty noisy. Tonight, still reeling from the who-knows-how-many beers, I decided to take it down a notch. And I took myself to see the Philharmonic Orchestra.

After scoring some cheaper-than-I-expected tickets on Goldstar ($27), I dashed through the rain to Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center. My seat was on the orchestra level but this is a great venue; there’s not a bad seat in the place.

I know very little about classical music – well, apart from that I’ve always enjoyed it. And tonight I was choked up just by the tuning.

Philharmonic Orchestra

The evening was split into two sections; the first was Concerto No. 1 for Violin by Sergei Prokofiev, while the second added some opera with Il prigioniero by Luigi Dallapiccola. (No, I hadn’t heard of them either.)

I definitely preferred the first half. I was mesmerised by the solo violinist, Lisa Batiashvili, and the fragility of the strings around her. Their bows expanded and contracted in unison like one massive swelling, breathing diaphragm.

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The second half definitely had more texture – thanks to the five soloists, monstrous choir and rumbling percussion – but while I enjoy opera, the voices kind of got in the way of the other musicians. I wanted the music to wash over me as it had before, which it didn’t – but I suppose at least the barks of the opera singers snapped me awake.

This is a gorgeous way to spend a sedate evening of culture and I would definitely go again. I just think I’d be more careful when choosing the program in the future.P1030842