Lincoln Center

Music

Emanuel Ax plays Schubert, Mostly Late, at Tully Scope

The first evening of Tully Scope devoted to the classical music of the past was no less adventurous than the first two concerts, which revolved around the work of Morton Feldman, who was one of the great musical adventurers of his generation. Emanuel Ax, a fastidious piano virtuoso who combines impeccable taste and restraint with a deep respect for the classics, is fairly new to late Schubert, as I understand. The late piano sonatas in particular, works of grand scope, rich harmony, and deep feeling, offer little in the way of purely pianistic attractions to show off Mr. Ax's fluent technique. I almost feared that his mastery of the keyboard might even get in the way of Schubert's music. These moving performances, on the contrary, went beyond mere elegance and delved deeply into the heart of Schubert's writing. Emanuel Ax did indeed approach the music as a pianist, but, as always for him, the music came first, and that led him in new directions, which he navigated in a way entirely his own.
Music

Axiom, Juilliard’s Contemporary Music Group, play Feldman and Kurtág at Tully Scope

The second concert in Lincoln Center's wonderful Tully Scope Festival, like the opening night, revolved around the music of Morton Feldman, and, although it was entitled "For Morton Feldman," it was actually dedicated to quite a different composer, György Kurtág, who is still very much alive and celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday on February 19th, only a month younger than Feldman would have been if he had not died prematurely in 1987 at the age of sixty-one. The program consists entirely of some of their best-known works, played by Axiom, the contemporary music group of the Juilliard School, under the direction of Jeffrey Milarsky, and the Clarion Choir under music director Steven Fox. The instrumentalists and the soprano soloist were all students or recent graduates of Juilliard, who acquitted themselves most impressively.
Music

Tully Scope Festival Opening Night: International Contemporary Ensemble play Chance Encounters: For Morton Feldman, with Webern, Xenakis, and Cage…and a prelude by Nathan Davis

Tully Scope Festival Opening Night

For Morton Feldman: Chance Encounters
Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 pm
International Contemporary Ensemble
Steven Schick, conductor and percussion

Feldman: The King of Denmark, for solo percussion
Webern: Concerto for nine instruments
Xenakis: Jalons, for …

Food & Drink

Bar Boulud, Passport to Burgundy at Lincoln Center

The first thing one notices entering Bar Boulud is the complete absence of any trace of the economic downturn. Thank God, too! (Forget your troubles, come on, get happy!) Elegant and chic, sleek and moderne, everywhere the fashionable thirty- and forty-somethings were enjoying themselves over bottles of wine and charcuterie, as if it were April in Paris. It‘s so chic, it feels like the set of a Carlo Ponti film. With the full house we encountered at 10.30 on a Monday evening, there was just enough room for Monica Vitti or Virna Lisi to totter through the crowd in a scant cocktail dress and stiletto heels.
Food & Drink

Picholine

It didn't take long for Picholine, after it opened in October 1993, to acquire the reputation and aura of an institution. Its original decor included old master paintings and tapestries or reasonable facsimiles of them, chandeliers, and heavy moldings—which made it look as if it had been there forever. While this interior may have conjured up some idea of a Provençal estate, the region is now present primarily in the subtle color scheme of the fabric-covered walls, which recall the variegated tints of the picholine olive: purple, grey, boysenberry and so forth. Chef/proprietor Terrence Brennan had the rooms entirely redecorated in 2006, producing a quieter, simpler, darker interior, which also looks as if it had been there forever, but also looks thoroughly fresh and up-to-date.
Food & Drink

Café des Artistes: a Piece of New York History

So much has been said about the current craze for restaurant-going by people who are striving to understand it, either for enlightenment or profit, that it seems a truism to observe that a visit to a restaurant is a kind of travel, not entirely ersatz, but something between dreaming of Capri in an armchair and jumping on the train to Fire Island. The decorator has provided the sets, the chef a motive for going there, the staff a supporting cast; the diners at the table have their relationships, their hierarchy, and their desires, and, if the evening out is going to be any fun, they’re ready to play their roles. Dining out is also a self-generated theater, the ultimate interactive entertainment. It can be a journey in time, as well as a mildly-imagined land travel. Most people will go out for something old just as readily as something new, although the longevity of restaurants is tenuous enough these days to put that in question.
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