A Civilived Evening

It’s funny, 30+ years in the New York area and I’d never been to one of the concerts at the Metropolitan Museum. Funny, and a mistake I’m going to try and continue making up for. Saturday night we went to hear Anthony McGill and Friends, and all-in-all it was one of the better investments in culture we could have made.

First of all, your ticket also gets you free admission to the museum. We spent two or three hours walking the galleries, then got a bite at one of the cafes. If we’d felt like walking to the other end of the museum, we could have gotten a free glass of wine with our ticket, too. Then off to the concert, in the lovely recital-sized hall they have there.

McGill, principal clarinet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, brought in friends bass-baritone Terry Cook, pianist Caroline Stoessinger, and soprano Monica Yudus. Yudus, if she’s not a star already, should be. Her good looks, acting skills and great voice are going to carry her far. Her duet from Don Giovanni with Cook was cute, sexy and charming. And their rendition of Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock was sweet. McGill plays with a beautiful “touch” in some of the small musical details that really make a work sing.

Also on the program were Schumann’s Fantasiestücke for clarinet and piano, and his Dichterliebe, which took up the entire second half. Cook showed nice acting skills as well, and his subtle hand gestures had the audience eating out of, well, you know.

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