Feb 28 2020

The Barenboims

Carnegie Hall

Zankel Hall is smaller which I prefer. Sitting in the back, P18, I hear the subway rambling all the time – no vibration tho, (last time we sat on the front row, heard nothing.) and people in and out rather frequently. Four pieces by West-Eastern Divan Ensemble is led by Michael, the son:

  1. SCHUBERT Rondo in A Major for Violin and Strings, D. 438
  2. BENJAMIN ATTAHIR Jawb (NY Premiere)
  3. TARTINI Devil’s Trill Sonata
  4. MENDELSSOHN Octet in E-flat Major

West-Eastern Divan Ensemble is an orchestra based in Seville, Spain (wiki‘s photo). It was founded in 1999 by Daniel Barenboim, Michael’s father and Edward W. Said, a Palestinian American (1935 Jerusalem – 2003 NYC) who was a literature prof at Columbia University and an accomplished pianist.

one of my most faved CDs

Daniel Barenboim (1942 -) is a man with many hats and stories. He was born to Argentinian-Jewish parents in Buenos Aires, and has citizenships of Israel and Spain. He began his piano lesson at five with his father and played for Wilhelm Furtwängler. Married his first wife Jacqueline du Pré (1945-87; retired in 1973) in 1967, he and Michael’s mother, a Russian pianist Elena Bashkirova (1958 Moscow -) married in 1988, the year after Jacqueline passed away to multiple sclerosis, although they’ve been living together in Paris for a while: David Arthur Barenboim was born in 1982 and Michael 1985.

One other side of Daniel is his political activities, a strong supporter of Palestinian rights. The West-Eastern Divan Ensemble is his testament, to unit people, around Mid East (Arabs, Israeli, Palestinian, etc.) with music. His decision to play Wagner in Jerusalem in the summer of 2001, was one of his believe, music connects, and heals.

This pair of kids behave nicely. 

This ticket was a comp for the
Beethoven’s 6th and 7th last Sunday. The lady sat next to me is one of the new docents (tour guide) who lives in Queens, which corrects my thinking that the volunteers (mostly women) to these big organization live in Manhattan. She said her friend refused to come because the grudge she held against Daniel … “he took up with another woman while still married (to Jacqueline du Pré).” For the record, this is his son’s concert; and secondly, didn’t Jacqueline have extra marital affair?

In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.

As a matter of fact, Stern’s two sons, Michael (1959 – ) and David from his second marriage are conductors, the daughter Shira is a rabbi.  Lately, I saw a couple of sons under famous fathers in concerts: the Solzhenitsyns.

Friday night actions @ Times Square, includes a horse.

Feb 28 2020

Rider @ Times Square & more

A cop rides high on her horse on 7th Avenue around Times Square: near Winter Garden and passing by the tkts.

More actions by the Home Boys who Jump: shirtless in 46 degrees (3) before my concert @ Carnegie Hall … and

… after my concert, they were still at it: jumps over a little boy. I’ve seen them before at Central Park too.


Feb 25 2020

Queens Museum

New York City Building,
Corona, NY 11368


Feb 23 2020

Beethoven’s 6th & 7th

Carnegie Hall, New York

Many people say his odd numbered symphonies are better than the even numbered. However, pastoral is my favored since day one. Oddly enough one of my dream trips was playing the 6th on a drive in a Jaguar from Paris to Bordeaux.

This ORR (Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique) sucks. French horn is known to be difficult to operate but flute is relative easy but this time, sour notes are produced by the flute.
Every time I left, would think, gosh this is my late time (think of thick paints … how many layers by now?) … But with weak self control, especially seeing the full cycle of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, couldn’t help but return.

During the intermission, two Asian families came. One sat behind me with two disruptive toddlers who whined and kicked. The other to my left, a girl about ten who flipped her book very loud. The management said, they can NOT refuse anyone to come, even it’s an infant. NYC owns the building. Oh boy. My comp concert the following week.

It’s a full house and the audience gave them a warm applause at the end – I’m wondering what’s the percentage here is for the composer.
ORR’s play wasn’t too clean.

贝爷多芬的六和七 好点没得比
明天是 八和九

每当我离开卡内基音乐厅时,都会想,这真是我最后一次了. 但是自我控制能力很弱,尤其是看到贝多芬的九首交响曲 忍不住回来了.

Feb 22 2020

MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant

674 Thayer Rd,
West Point, NY 10996

The restaurant is on the left, half flat down from the lobby of the Thayer Hotel, which is on the compound of the United States Military Academy. Exposed brick walls, fresh flowers – mostly carnations, but overall it feels stuffy. $11 house wine: Merlot is better than Pino Noir.

The crab cakes (enough for an entry) are good, so is the salmon but the veggie cassoulet is subpar, tasteless.

Each table has a bell (not an astray) – I thought it’s pretty military-ish. We didn’t have to use it because the restaurant was very empty, even on a game night.

Patton’s Tavern is on the same level as the lobby but it was filled to the brim when we got there – probably due to the game: ice hockey team vs SHU


The Five Star Generals of the Army

George C. Marshall, VMI 1901
Douglas MacArthur, USMA 1903
Dwight D. Eisenhower, USMA 1915
Henry “Hap” Arnold, USMA 1907
Omar Bradley, USMA 1915

Feb 22 2020

West Point, NY

Wiki: Aerial view of West Point & Hudson River

The town sits on the western side of the Hudson River, 50 miles north of Grand Central Station in Manhattan. The population in 2010 is 6,763. It is well known for the United States Military Academy, (which is commonly called West Point). It was identified as the most important strategic point by Gen. George Washington during the American Revolution.

To know more about the West Point Academy, a recent book (recent, is in relative term … )  Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point (2003) by David Lipsky provided me a lot of insight into this iconic institution. And please DO read his Preface too.

Feb 22 2020

Vanderbilt Mansion

4097 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538

some events in 2020

The site is 2 miles north of FDR Library and 4 miles north of CIA, this park is worth stopping by. The panoramic view is paramount.


The Millionaire’s View

Four men built homes atop the bluff to command panoramic views of the Hudson River: Samuel Bard (1799), Dr. David Hosack (1829), Walter Langdon (1847), and Frederick Vanderbilt (1898). All maintained overlooks at this site just north of their homes. From where you’re standing, Shaupeneak Ridge stands out across the river, in front of the distant Catskill Mountains, while the mid-ground remains concealed. Step closer to the edge and the meadows and woodlands below the bluff, as well as the channel of the Hudson itself, come dramatically into view.

Feb 21 2020

Solzhenitsyns @ Linde

3A W Hawthorne Road
Lenox, MA 01240

Father and son at Linde Center @ Berkshires. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was the 1970 Noble Prize literature winner and his son, Ignat curated a 90 minutes show, in which he excites his father’s poems (Growing Old is particularly moving) and plays piano. Supposedly two Beethoven and a Dmitri Shostakovich. BUT because the limited parking spaces (late comers have to park at the main lot and being shuttled over), we started 15 minutes later at 7:45. Therefore, he forgo Shostakovich’s prelude. Why on earth the organizer sells more tickets than the seatings and parking allowed? It brings back the traffic nightmare from last summer …

亚历山大·索尔仁尼琴(1918-2008)是1970年诺贝尔文学奖得主. 他的儿子 Ignat 在美国长大是个指挥. 策展了一个90分钟节目: 爸爸的诗和贝爷的钢琴奏鸣曲. 我是为了贝爷去的. 曲目很冷门 但是他老爸Growing Old 正在变老 非常棒. 一石2鸟

乌鸦婆弱问一句: 1970 … 是真的值得还是政治原因?乌鸦婆弱问一句: 1970 … 是真的值得还是政治原因?[Grin]


励志决定: 要多识几个斗大的字 … 说不定哪天真的可以去看诺贝尔文学作品

Feb 21 2020

Linde Center 林德中心

3A W Hawthorne Road
Lenox, MA 01240

A beautiful space with a terrible management. The Studio E is the largest area, looking out to Seiji Ozawa Hall. We didn’t see the sunset in February but the golden glow from the setting sun light up the room.


Feb 21 2020

Olivia’s Overlook

Yokun Ridge South, Hiking Trails,
West Stockbridge, MA 01266

We passed by this lookout (Yokun Ridge) a few times but unable to stop due to the small parking lot was always full. On a cold winter weekday afternoon, the lot was NOT empty. It’s the easier to drive from West Stockbridge, heading toward Tanglewood.