Got back to New York after a long flight from Rome on Friday. Rested a bit then off to Carnegie Hall for the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Andras Schiff. He played Bartok’s 1st and 3rd Piano Concerti.
The 1st is from the 1920s and is full of early 20th century cacophony, but is still a fascinating piece of music. The 3rd was written as Bartok was dying and is beautifully lyrical and deeply touching. The orchestra also played Schubert’s Fifth Symphony and it was a bright and sparkly work. Even though I was very tired I am glad I went.
Saturday morning I awoke to snow falling in New York. This is October. It was crazy and there was a lot of snow that played havoc with the trees that still were full of leaves. There were downed trees and broken limbs all over the city. Nice day to unpack and do laundry.
That evening there was a second Budapest concert at Carnegie Hall. This time Schiff played the Bartok 2nd Piano concerto which in style is somewehere between the 1st and 3rd, but seems to be a very difficult piece to play. Schiff was brilliant. The orchestra played Schubert’s monumental 9th Symphony and it is apparent why orchestras don’t like it. It is a real workout. (...)