One of the many cool New York moments occurs at Lincoln Center whenever two or more of its grand houses empty out at exactly the same moment late in the evening.
Friday night just as thousands were exiting Avery Fisher Hall while still humming the beautiful melodies of Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 From the New World, directly across the fountain thousands were streaming out of the doors following the season's first performance of The Nutcracker. Excited kids were skipping and twirling, singing, and tugging on the grownups' arms. As the masses from the two sides of the plaza converged, Haglund stood at the side to take in all the smiling faces. For a few moments, New Yorkers became especially civil, gentle, even warm and fuzzy before leaving the protective custody of Lincoln Center to step out onto the avenue of reality -- which at the moment is really dirty, congested, and very unChristmasy – or unHoliday-y, if political correctness is demanded.
Haglund is pretty excited about seeing Tiler Peck, Robert Fairchild, and Ana Sophia Scheller in The Nutcracker Saturday night, but tonight he was at Fisher Hall for the New York Philharmonic's concert of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, and Dvořák. Andrey Boreyko conducted and Frank Peter Zimmermann was the violin soloist for the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor.
Here's hoping that this particular Shostakovich piece is not on Alexei Ratmansky's long list of music to which he wants to choreograph any time soon. Even after listening to it twice before attending the concert, Haglund couldn't wrap his head around the rampaging violin solos and the angst erupting within the music. But the Dvořák symphony was something else. So beautiful. And it was made in New York during Dvořák's first years here.
Next weekend at the NY Phil, the program includes Barber's Violin Concerto, Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, and a new symphony by Steven Stucky. And, of course, NYCB's The Nutcracker continues across the way.