Israel, Russia, and the Netherlands

Last night, Tish and I went into Philadelphia to see the Philadelphia Orchestra, but we first hit a new place to which I hadn’t yet been for dinner called Hummusology. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of my food before eating it…still learning to be a good blogger! But anyway, Tish and I both had Hamshuka, which is delicious (even if it was spicy for me) and comprised of poached egg (way overcooked), hummus, and a sauce of tomatoes, green chili peppers, onion, and other spices. The hummus was pretty tasty, and the whole wheat pita was soft and flavorful.

Although I don’t perform or conduct outside of work anymore, classical music is an undeniable love of mine, my first love, one that will never die. It makes me giddy and makes my brain light up like a pinball machine. Nights at the orchestra or opera make me feel alive, and this night would prove to be no exception.

I really love the conducting of the artistic director of the Philadelphia Orchestra (and will soon be the same for the esteemed Metropolitan Opera!), Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He is so charismatic, expressive, and energetic, a lot like the amazing Leonard Bernstein, maybe even more so. It is for that reason that I almost always purchase seats in the conductor’s circle, behind the orchestra, when he conducts so that I can watch him head-on.

The musical fare for the evening was the North American premiere of an exhilarating and dizzying violin concerto by Dutch composer Michel van der Aa filled with meter changes and unique percussion elements. The soloist was Janine Jansen, a Dutch violinist who had an incredible chemistry with Yannick. I was surprised and delighted by the performance.

The second half of the performance was Rachmaninoff’s Symphony #2 (yet another victim of Eric Carmen’s lack of creativity) and the performance was being recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for a new cycle of Rach’s symphonies. The performance and conducting were brilliant, emotionally charged, beautiful, and exuberant.

We’ll be going back next month for Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome next month! Can’t wait!

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