Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cocktails and Counterpoints

Kimball Gallagher performing Prokofiev's Suggestion Diabolique

Music in Manhattan comes in all shapes: pointy and tough-to-swallow, barbed and difficult to escape, sleek and penetrating. For music to really sit on, you should try and swing an invitation to "Cocktails and Counterpoints," an informative salon-style concert series, organized by David Rosensweig and Kimball Gallagher, a couple of mensches who want you to stop cowering in the face of classical music, as if it is some lengthy homework assignment. I have attended two of the concerts so far, which are held in various apartments around the city. Due to the typical format of "grand piano, studio apartment," space is finite and attendance is by invite only. But as part of the mission of C&C is to revive salon culture ubiquitously, you should reach out to the guys if you want to add your keister to the cuddle puddle, or perhaps even host.

Michael Shinn performing Liszt's Etude of Transcendental Execution

The players themselves are Juilliard teachers and performers mostly, obviously very talented but more importantly very knowledgeable. After each piece, the floor is opened up to questions and discussion among experts and novices alike. At each session, one logistics-minded listener does ask a question related to moving a grand piano into an apartment (the C&C equivalent of yelling for Freebird), but except for that, no question is too dumb to ask. Both Michael and Kimball are thrilling to watch, especially up close. The interaction between the crowd and the player in this setting is unlike anything else; performers move from the energy of the listeners, booze flows. I can't wait for the next one.

Cocktails and Counterpoints facebook group

1 comment:

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