Jottings from a pop culture junkie

BROOKLYN, NY; FEBRUARY 14, 2020—Will you experience magic too if you attend one of the two remaining performances of the Brahams Violin Concerto in D Major by violinist Janine Jansen tomorrow (2/15) or Tuesday (2/18) with the NY Philharmonic under conductor Jaap van Zweden? And what is magic? When does it happen?

I’ve been attending live music for close to 60 years, and wrote about it professionally for 25+. I’ve seen thousands of concerts, been moved by many. But last night was rare magic that left me exhilarated and teary. Is it that Jansen was simply so lost in the music that there was nothing else in the world? And that she carried me so completely into her world (and judging by the lengthy ovation she earned, everyone else in David Geffen Hall)? It was certainly that, but that feels inadequate to describe the experience.

I’m not familiar with Jansen. I’m getting so now, listening even as I write to her beautiful recording of Bach violin concertos. She has a solo recital next season at Carnegie Hall. We’re signing up. But in the meantime, you have two opportunities to test out whether this magic is conjured consistently or what.

Bonus: This is part of the NY Phil’s Project 19, marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment for which the orchestra commissioned 19 women composers to create new pieces. There is an interesting Tania Leon commission on the program, and as I write, there are still more than 100 $19 tickets in the orchestra for Tuesday night (just a few for Saturday). Visit here and use promo code PROJECT19.

This brief video from a different concert is energetic and passionate, but doesn’t begin to convey the sensitivity of the overall performance.

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