To continue our anniversary celebration, my wife and I saw the New York Phil conducted by Bram Tovey tonight, whom I have reviewed twice before, conducting at the Hollywood Bowl. He was much better tonight. I'm not sure if he was simply in a better mood (he was quite funny) or if he likes Vail, or the NY Phil better, or if he's more comfortable with a smaller crowd, but he seemed much more at ease and more emotionally connected with the operatic excerpts performed tonight.
The star of the night though was lyric soprano Nicole Cabell (originally from Panorama City, CA), whose voice was delicious. She sang numerous arias, including Mozart, Donizetti and Puccini, all with perfect tone and pitch and a gorgeous fluidity. She also used a nice dynamic range that went from the intimate to the back of the hall.
The orchestra played nicely, particularly on the finale from Massenet's LE CID. Much of this music was new to me, as was the venue. The tent is not as good as Aspen's acoustically, but we were seated quite close and it felt very personal.
Last night we went to a chamber music concert that was equally appealing. It was a trio with Zuill Bailey on cello, Orion Weiss on piano, and Anne Akiko Meyers on violin. The cellist was very emotional, although he had pitch problems on his high string in some of the songs he played by Brahms and Mendlessohn. But overall he played very well.
They also played a ragtime piece by Paul Schoenfield that I had never heard before. It was quite a nice piece. The major piece of the evening was a trio by Tchaikovsky that I had never heard before. It was longer than I expected but everyone played quite well on it, particularly the pianist.
So far the trip has been great. Tomorrow we will see one more concert, then head home.