Stravinsky & Shostakovich, sounds like the name of some new fashion duo or a new Amsterdam restaurant. A mouthful if someone were to use it in a name for something.
Tonight, at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the stage belonged to the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, playing Stravinsky (Petrushka) and Shostakovich (Symphony no. 10 in e, op. 93), two of my favourite composers. Music has a way of moving you, stripping you down, making you face your own realities. You move your head to the rhythm, you tap your feet softly on the ground. You want to swing your hands in the air along with Alan Gilbert. The only thing stopping you is social decency. But you lose yourself in the music anyway, you dream and you find yourself faced with these unanswered questions. I thought of the young girl I once was, in love with the passions I had. And this perfect persona I have tried living up to all these years, sans the passions, a person I perhaps never was. All of the things I have surrounded myself with over the years suddenly seemed so irrelevant. I’m sure neither Stravinsky or Shostakovich wrote their pieces for a troubled twenty-something millennial. Tonight, it felt like they wrote the pieces exactly for a troubled twenty-something millennial.
New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, it was an honour. Until the next time we meet.