Last night, the New York Philharmonic performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 3 sounded wonderfully fresh. The first movement was particularly dynamic. I did not care for the thick orchestral textures of movements two and three, but the last was again eloquent. The sun rose majestically, and the effect just fell short of the sublime, because the last part was played a little too softly. I was sleepy throughout the Berg violin concerto, but electrified by the Brahms after the intermission. It reminded me why I attend actual concerts instead of listening to a CD at home.
The program began with Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor. Frank Peter Zimmermann and Alan Gilbert made a well-matched pair of soloists. TB was thrilled to hear the piece because she has been working on it with her music teacher, L, whom GH and I met that evening. L applauded the Bach enthusiastically and seemed to like the Brahm too. After the concert, he recited to me the opening of The Canterbury Tales. Fortunately I was able to recognize and so vindicated my life as an English teacher.